Eras of Life
 Dinosaur Evolution
 Feathered Dinosaurs
Brooding Dinosaurs/Feather Length
 Dinosaur Family Tree
 Feather Evolution
 Flight Evolution
 Important Bones
 Parts of a Feather
 Wing Evolution
 Weird Dinosaurs
 Prehistoric Sea Monsters



Dinosaur Family Tree

   The following chart shows the main branches of the dinosaur family tree.

Permian Period
   During this time the synapsids or "mammal-like reptiles" were the dominate terrestrial species.  Some authorities maintain that they accounted for 95% of all land animals. They were all but wiped out by the Permian Mass Extinction.  A few small survived and they evolved into modern day mammals.
Triassic Period
   The principal of "Radiant Adaptive" maintains that a species will evolve into different forms in order to take advantage of ecological niches.  This was the case following the Permian Mass Extinction.  With the synapsids no longer competing for food, some reptiles evolved into a new form - the archosaurs.  This clad quickly diversified resulting in the  flying pterosaurs, giant marine reptiles, crocodiles and the first dinosaurs.   
Jurassic & Triassic Periods
   These were the periods in which the dinosaurs ruled the Earth.  The first birds appeared during this time.
Cretaceous Period
    This ended in another mass extinction, one that destroyed all the archosaurs, except the birds.  In accordance with adaptive radiation, many of the ecological niches were filled by the mammals that rapidly evolved into many different forms.  The birds underwent a massive adaptive radiation.  There are now over 10,000 documented species.    


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