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DINOSAURS AND PLANTS
Triassic Plants Jurassic Plants Cretaceous Plants

Jurassic Plants

Brachiosaurus The Jurassic period (206-144 million year ago) was the time when the enormous sauropods (like Brachiosaurus, Diplodocus, and Apatosaurus) lived, devouring tremendous amounts of foliage each day, probably mainly conifers. There probably weren't many of these gigantic plant-eaters in any one area since competition for food would have been a problem. These sauropods may have destroyed forests and trampled other plant habitats, forcing these dinosaurs to migrate occasionally in order to find new food sources.

Conifers (like Araucarioxylon) were the dominant land plant during the Jurassic period. Other land plants included Ginkgophytes (like Ginkgos), club mosses, horsetails, ferns, seed ferns, Sphenopsids (like Neocalamites), Filincophyta (like Matonidium), Cycadeodia (like Otozamites, Ptilophyllum, and Cycadeoidea), and cycadophytes.

Flowering plants evolved about 140 million years ago, during the late Jurassic period. This development would soon change the face of the Earth.

The many smaller and medium-sized dinosaurs that lived during this time, like Xiaosaurus, Dryosaurus, Kentrosaurus, and Stegosaurus, would have browsed on low-lying plants, like seed ferns, ferns, horsetails, club mosses, and low-lying conifers.


Horsetails were an important source of nutrition for plant-eating dinosaurs. These primitive vascular plants were fast-growing and resilient (they could propagate using underground runners which a grazing dinosaur wouldn't eat). This meant that a hungry dinosaur could eat the plant without killing it, since the plant would regrow from the rhizome (the underground stem).
Some other Jurassic plants included: Williamsonia (a cycadeoidphyte), Williamsoniella (a cycadeoid), and Caytonia (a Caytoniale, which led to the flowering plants)


Williamsonia sewardiana was a cycadeoidphyte (a bennettitalean). It had a long, thin, woody stem and simple leaves.


PANGAEA AND WEATHER DURING THE JURASSIC
There was no polar ice during the last two-thirds of the Jurassic. The climate was warm and moist and the sea levels high. There were vast flooded areas, temperate and subtropical forests, and coral reefs. The extensive water moderated the strong seasonality



DINOSAURS AND PLANTS
Triassic Plants Jurassic Plants Cretaceous Plants




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