Who was boss before the dinosaurs?
Who was boss before the dinosaurs? Large hippo-like mammal forerunner ("Placerias") that lived, and died off, during the Triassic. (National Park Service Image)
Who was boss before the dinosaurs?
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The Jurassic witnessed a world populated by dinosaurs. While giant plant-eaters munched their way through ferns and conifer forests, large carnivores chased them down for lunch.
 
At the height of the Age of Dinosaurs, they were found on every continent. They thrived in the warm environments of the time.
 
But, dinosaurs were not always so prominent. Fossil evidence shows that they arose about 230 million years ago during the Triassic period. But they remained scarce as other reptiles took center stage. Many mammal forerunners, such as the large plant-eater Placerias, prospered. Huge crocodile-like animals like Smilosuchus were the top predators of the Triassic.
 
Paleontologists who study the fossil record have discovered that something big happened 200 million years ago. It radically changed life on land and in the sea. And it paved the way for dinosaur diversification and prominence.
 
What happened was so important that it caused more than half of all life on Earth to go extinct. The large crocodile-like reptiles that had dominated the landscape were eliminated. So were many of the mammal forerunners.
 
Find out more about the events that opened the door for the Age of Dinosaurs. Join us on Thursday, October 8, 2015, for a "Smithsonian Science How" live webcast on How Fossils Explain the Rise of Dinosaurs. It is airing at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. EDT on the Q?rius website. Paleontologist Dr. Hans Sues from the National Museum of Natural History will appear live to discuss and answer questions. Get teaching resources to support your webcast experience.

Source URL: https://www.tweentribune.com/article/tween56/who-was-boss-dinosaurs/

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
To study dinosaurs, why do scientists rely on fossils instead of photographs?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (133)
  • johnd-3-bar
    9/24/2015 - 11:44 p.m.

    To study fossils scientist use fossils instead of photographs because there were no cameras during the Triassic period. Fossils are the only thing left from back then.


    I thought this article was interesting and would want to read more.

  • ethanm-4-bar
    9/25/2015 - 12:22 a.m.

    Scientists rely on fossils rather than pictures because the pictures may not be accurate to what the dinosaurs look like, but fossils are accurate to what dinosaurs looked like a long time ago. This article surprised me because I did not know that half of life on Earth was extinct once, that blew my mind.

  • lukep-6-bar
    9/25/2015 - 12:22 a.m.

    This article is about the Triassic era in which the giant crocodile-like animal called smiloschous ruled over all the other anumals. Then something big happenced about 200 million years ago. This changed life for the dinosaurs both on land and sea which paved the way for dinosaur diversification.

  • olgan-4-bar
    9/25/2015 - 12:41 a.m.

    Scientists rely on fossils instead of photographs to study dinosaurs because cameras were not invited at the time. I learned a lot from this article. It was interesting since I always thought that the dinosaurs were the only big bosses. I surprised me and it was amusing to learn about it

  • ethang-1-bar
    9/25/2015 - 01:18 a.m.

    Scientists rely on fossils more than pictures because as said above that paleontologists studied these fossils and could actually use all five senses while picture is only one.this article I found interesting because I always thought that dinosaurs were the top dogs for ages.

  • johnl-6-bar
    9/25/2015 - 03:04 a.m.

    The reason why scientists rely on fossils instead of photos is that millions of years ago humans where not there and there were no camera. They use fossils because it can show you what the dinosaur ate, the structure, and what there environment was like. I picked this article because of the title.

  • kevinw1-deg
    9/25/2015 - 09:21 a.m.

    i hate dinosaurs.

  • seans-2-bar
    9/25/2015 - 10:02 a.m.

    This really a no brainer, because the first camera was invented in 1840 hundreds of millions of years after the dinosaurs were obliterated. This Article was really full of information but the author didn't communicate the information very well.

  • hudsonh-ver
    9/25/2015 - 01:03 p.m.

    Is there something that dated back even farther than just these reptiles.

  • zackd-ver
    9/25/2015 - 01:14 p.m.

    I wonder what happened to the dinosaurs. I still think that a meteor wiped out all of the dinosaurs and spared the others.

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