Cretaceous

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What happened in the Cretaceous Period?

By |2018-04-21T11:56:37+00:00June 24th, 2017|Geology|

Volcano erupting During the Cretaceous period, beginning about 145 million years ago, the continents continued to drift away from each other, so that the mammals, birds, and dinosaurs on different continents evolved separately and got more and more different from each other. As the continents separated, the climate got cooler and rainier, and [...]

What is an aurochs? Central Asian Environment

By |2018-04-13T11:21:22+00:00May 31st, 2017|Central Asia, Environment|

Cave painting of a herd of aurochs (about 14000 BC) Around fifty million years ago, after the dinosaurs died, large mammals started to evolve from smaller mammals that came earlier. Because grass had evolved only recently, about 100 million years ago, there weren't yet very many animals that ate grass, so some of these larger [...]

What are conifers? Pine trees, gymnosperms

By |2018-04-21T11:56:36+00:00May 30th, 2017|Biology|

Spruce tree - a type of gymnosperm and conifer Near the end of the Carboniferous period, about 300 million years ago, the land on Earth got a lot drier than it had been before. It was drier because plate tectonics was bringing all of the land together into one big continent, Pangaea. Plants that [...]

Flowering plants – Evolution and Biology

By |2017-05-30T09:44:04+00:00May 30th, 2017|Biology|

Lavender flowers smell wonderful! For millions of years, the Earth was covered with ferns and pine trees and moss and mushrooms, without any flowers, grass, or fruit. But about 120 million years ago, in the Cretaceous period, some of these pine trees developed a new way to scatter their seeds that turned out to [...]

Seeds – Plant reproduction – Biology

By |2018-04-13T17:51:52+00:00May 30th, 2017|Biology|

Evolution of seeds: Dandelion seeds What is a seed? A seed is the egg cell of a plant, with a hard wrapper around it so it can survive on its own. The earliest plants with seeds evolved from plants with spores during the late Devonian period, about 360 million years ago. The seeds [...]

How flowers reproduce – Plant Biology

By |2018-04-13T17:05:54+00:00May 30th, 2017|Biology|

Black-eyed Susan (the black in the middle is the seeds) The earliest flowers probably developed about 130 million years ago, in the Cretaceous period, as a way to attract newly evolved flying insects - mainly bees - and get them to help spread the plant's pollen far away from where the plant was [...]

What are dinosaurs? Evolution and Biology

By |2018-04-21T11:56:44+00:00May 26th, 2017|Biology|

Tyrannosaurus Rex dinosaur (American Museum of Natural History) The first dinosaurs evolved out of earlier types of chordate reptiles about 230 million years ago, on the big land mass called Pangaea. At that time, all of the land on earth was stuck together in one big continent. Like other reptiles, dinosaurs were generally cold-blooded [...]

What are arthropods? Biology

By |2018-04-15T17:01:39+00:00May 25th, 2017|Biology|

Bee on a flower Insects, spiders, crabs, and lobsters are all arthropods, so there are a lot of arthropods on Earth. The earliest arthropods on Earth developed about 550 million years ago. That was during the Proterozoic period. Arthropods' ancestors were a kind of worm that was divided into segments, probably distantly related to [...]

Why do grasshoppers jump? – Biology

By |2017-05-25T15:32:20+00:00May 25th, 2017|Biology|

Grasshopper sitting on a leaf When grasshoppers first evolved from earlier insects, about 300 million years ago, they lived in forests of huge ferns, and the main danger to grasshoppers came from frogs. Like frogs, grasshoppers evolved to be good jumpers.They ate mainly ferns. Grasshoppers jump by pushing with the big muscles in [...]

Why do ants eat bugs?

By |2017-05-25T14:48:48+00:00May 25th, 2017|Biology|

A bunch of ants Ants evolved from earlier wasps about 150 million years ago, during the Cretaceous period. This was around the same time that mammals were beginning to become common, soon after the dinosaurs died out. This is how ants evolved: some wasps lost their wings and couldn't fly anymore, and some of [...]