Earth is a magnificent home to all sorts of animals and plants. Millions of years ago, when dinosaurs ruled, life was quite diverse. Some prehistoric reptiles were tiny, while others were massive. And some dinosaurs were covered in feathers or vibrantly colored! But why did the Mesozoic Era have such diverse dinosaurs? Check out the information below to find out!
Diverse Climate and Habitat
One key reason for dinosaur diversity is related to Earth’s diverse climate and habitats, even in the early days of our planet. Dinosaurs arose during the Triassic period, and during this time, many dinosaurs were small, unlike the massive beasts living during the Cretaceous period. Species changed due to evolution and shifts in the Earth’s environment.
Another reason for dino diversity relates to the varied ecosystems. Dinosaurs living in lush rainforests had different living circumstances than polar dinosaurs. Some dinosaurs living in arctic regions during the Cretaceous period even had feathers!
Another explanation for why the Mesozoic Era had such diverse dinosaurs could be evolution and natural selection. Different species followed varying evolutionary routes. Creatures with specific features were likelier to mate and pass those traits to their young, which allowed for their survival.
For example, reptiles such as the stegosaurus had spiked tails likely used for defense. Early stegosauruses born with this type of tail were more likely to survive into adulthood and breed; the whole species then evolved throughout millions of years.
Plant-eating dinosaurs often didn’t have sharp talons, since they didn’t hunt prey. Instead, they needed short necks to eat plants near the ground or long necks to reach the highest trees. Often, these reptiles had natural features such as horns or spikes to protect themselves.
On the other hand, predators such as the T. rex or velociraptor needed talons and razor-sharp teeth to hunt and tear meat. Many carnivores we see today also have these essential traits.
When Were Dinosaurs the Most Diverse?
Dinosaur species became the most diverse at the end of the Mesozoic Era and late into the Cretaceous period. By this point, these creatures had existed for millions of years, allowing them to follow varying evolutionary routes. Some dinosaurs of the late Cretaceous period included the:
The Earth underwent countless changes throughout the age of dinosaurs, and d evolved to survive depending on the landscape and climate. If you love dinosaurs, check out Creative Beast Studio’s Beasts of the Mesozoic figures. We have a broad collection so that everyone can find a dinosaur they love. Keep your dinosaur collection diverse for a true reflection of the Mesozoic Era!