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Cretaceous Plains


Cretaceous Plains
145 to 66 million years ago Life was not easy on the Cretaceous plains. Dinosaurs faced many changes to their habitat The climate of the Cretaceous period consisted of global temperatures of around 10°C or 50°F higher than today and high atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. It was something of a greenhouse world. The high sea levels (approximately 200-300m higher than today) meant that swamp-like plains existed on the lower latitude areas where crocodylomorphs, such as the Simosuchus and Deinosuchus, began to thrive. The Deinosuchus, a member of the alligatoridae family that includes modern day alligators, weighed up to ten tons and was one of the most ferocious predators in North America. In fact, its habitat overlapped with tyrannosaurids, such as Daspletosaurus; in these ecosystems it was the powerful alligatorid, not the tyrannosaurids, that dominated.

Also during the Cretaceous period, the skies were inhabited by colossal pterosaurs, such as the Quetzalcoatlus. These beasts rank as the largest flying creatures of all time, with a wingspan larger than many small planes.
However, thanks to a complex system of air sacs inside its bone structure, the Quetzalcoatlus weighed no more than 250kg. They were agile and fast in the air, making catching prey easy.

Cretaceous Plains