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List the Mesozoic periods in order (oldest to youngest)
- Triassic Period (251 MY - 200 MY)
- Jurassic Period (200 MY - 145 MY)
- Cretaceous Period (145 MY - 65 MY)
What was the fate of the glaciers on Pangaea before the beginning of the Mesozoic?
Which 2 "landmasses or continents" made up Pangaea?
- Laurasia (Laurentia)
What type or classification of a tectonic event cause the opening of the North Atlantic?
continental rift (divergent zone)
What type or rocks form the Palisades of Hudson River (New York)?
Where was Texas located on the globe during the Triassic?
south of the equator
What type of environment is associated with the "red beds"?
Where do we find some classic examples of red beds in Texas?
Palo Duro Canyon
How did the dinosaurs "walk" (position on their legs) as compared to reptiles?
Can you name some marine dinosaurs and flying dinosaurs and why?
No. They were reptiles not dinosaurs
What would be a unique aspect of the Lystrosaurs, as far as their numbers can be described?
- Vast herds
- Most abundant animal
- Very heavy and about 3 feet long
What was a Morganucodon and what is it's importance?
Oldest known tiny mammal dated at 225 MY or Middle Triassic
What was a Pterosaur?
- Flying animal that had reptilian skulls, teeth and pelvises.
- Found from the Late Triassic to Mesozoic extinction
What possibly caused the Triassic extinction?
- Maybe major asteroid impact
- 62 mile-wide Manicouagan Crater, Quebec Canada
Which geological period did the Gulf of Mexico first been open for sea water and salt evaporation?
Early to Middle Jurassic
Describe the depositional environment of the Navajo Formation
- Maximum thickness on 2,000+ towards its western edge
- Awesome landscapes in New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and Arizona
- Vermillion Cliffs, AZ (only 20 ppl a day can see it and with special permits)
What is the name of the Jurassic sea that covered a large part of North America?
What makes the Morrison Formation so famous?
It contains the world's richest assemblage of fossil dinosaur bones
What is the difference between endothermic and ectothermic animals?
- Endothermic: animals capable of regulating their internal body temperature, regardless of external temperatures
- Ectothermic: relying on the environment and behavior to regulate body temperature
Describe predatory/prey ratios that suggest dinosaurs were warm blooded
From what dinosaurs did birds probably evolve?
small bipedal theropod
Describe some general characteristics of archaeopteryx (ie a bird with teeth)
- Oldest known bird fossil
- Claws on front and rear limbs
- Light-weight feathers
- Long boney tail
What is the general classification name for the largest land animals of all times?
Diplodocus (Jurassic Sauropods)
What was the name of the largest Jurassic carnivore?
Describe a unique characteristic of an ichthyosaur
Largest eyes of all known reptiles
Which major group of dinosaurs died out at the end of the Jurassic Period?
Which major geologic event marked the Sevier orogeny?
large granite batholiths
An extensive chain of mountains that form the principle mountain range of a continent
Which three orogenies make up the Cordilleran Orogeny?
- Cretaceous Sevier
What evidence is there to demonstrate that dinosaurs lived in Texas?
Large number of footprints in Glen Rose Formation
Within which Texas state park so we find abundant dinosaur footprints?
Dinosaur Valley State Park
Why is the Edwards formation important to South Texas?
produced more than 450 million barrels of oil
What is the importance of the Eagle Ford shale to Texas?
intensive oil and gas exploration
What is the importance of the Austin Chalk to Texas?
Texas oil and gas producer
What classification of mammals were the Cretaceous Multituberculate?
Describe some unique height characteristic of Quetzlcoatlus
- neck of 10ft long
- legs of 7ft long
- wings of 36 ft
Which marine Cretaceous species had necks that were 30 feet long
What length did the snake-like Mosasaurs achieve?
What type of animal is Exogyra ponderosa?
Giant Texas oysters
What type of plants evolved toward the end of the Mesozoic?
seed-bearing, flowering plants (angiosperms)
What is the name of the state dinosaur for Texas?
Which dinosaur was the largest land carnivore of all times?
What event brought the end of the Mesozoic?
The asteroid Chicxulub
During which era were the present day landforms of the Western US created?
Describe the probable position of the western North American subducted oceanic plate during the Laramide Orogeny
Plate did not dive deep but moved as a shallow, sub-horizontal plate under the continental crust
Which sea remained in the Wyoming are during the Paleocene?
How much coal reserves does the US have?
can be used for hundreds of years
Describe a characteristic of a Monotreme, and name an example
- have fur
- produce milk
- lays eggs
Give an example of a North American marsupial
Where do we find most of the marsupials today and why there?
Which "animal" was the chief land predator in the Paleocene
Describe what happened to temperatures at the end of the Paleocene
temperatures rose by 11 degrees
Name a famous Texas Eocene formation for oil and gas
Describe the types of fossils associated with the Green River Formation
Describe the value of the oil shale of the Green River Formation
capacity of producing more than 2 trillion barrels of oils
Near which Texas city have been discovered fossil primate bones?
Describe the feet of the largest land mammal carnivore of all times
Hooves that resembled sheep
During which epoch would West Texas volcanoes spew uranium-rich ash over south Texas?
What was the name of the largest land mammal that ever walked on the Earth?
Which state does the Basin and Range Province dominate?
Describe the geology of the Colorado Plateau
series of flat-lying sandstone plateaus that rises 3k to 5k feet above the surrounding terrain. has "natural bridges"
Describe the Cenozoic igneous activity of the Columbia River area (ie what caused it)
mantle plume forms under the area
What was the name of the largest shark that ever lived?
What were the principle mammal types that evolved in South America before the land bridge?
What effect on animal life did the Panamanian Central America land bridge have on South America?
Most of the marsupials and many herbivores became extinct
What was a Smilodon?
saber tooth cats
What was a glyptodont?
Which are the largest animals to ever live on Earth?
Which epochs did megafauna live in the Corpus Christi area?
What epoch do we live in now?
Name all seven of the Cenozoic epochs - in order from oldest to youngest
- Holocene (Recent)
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