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KidZone Animals: Dinosaurs
Ancient Geography

Palaeontologists don't just study dinosaurs, but also the geography during the age of the dinosaurs. They look at the rock record and rocks found around dinosaur fossils to find out more about the ancient mesozoic period. Drumheller in Alberta, Canada is in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin and is a great place to find fossils and more about dino times (specifically the cretaceous period).

drumheller
Drumheller in Alberta, Canada
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Pangaea

Dinosaurs achieved global distribution, which means that you could find dinosaurs all over the world! Even though dinosaurs originated in one place (currently palaeantologists have evidence showing that dinos originated in Argentina) they somehow managed to end up all over the world.

Dinos couldn't swim or fly so they would have had to walk to achieve this. How is this possible then? Because in the beginning of the age of the dinosaurs the continents were all connected into one giant SUPER continent called Pangaea! If you look at the continents you can actually see how they would fit together sort of like puzzle pieces.

It wasn't until after the dinosaurs spread all over the world that Pangaea started breaking apart.

Climate

Having all of the continents in one big lump made the world a lot different than it is today. The interiors of continents are typically more dry and the coastal regions tend to be more humid; since pangaea was so big there were a lot of interiors that were very dry.

Once Pangaea started breaking apart the climate started changing a lot. This caused the tectonic plates to shift and lots of volcanoes to pop up. Volcanoes release a lot of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, so with lots of volcanoes comes a much hotter world.

Glaciers

Since the world was so much hotter during the age of the dinosaurs, there weren't any glaciers or permafrost. All of the ice that we have nowadays was extra water in the ocean back then. As a result, sea levels were much higher. In fact a large strip in the center of north america was actually an inland sea!