What other animals disappeared from earth at the same time as the dinosaurs?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Along with the dinosaurs, other animals also disappeared approximately 65 million years ago.  These were as follows

  • Sauropods - Giant, long-necked plant eaters
  • Pterosaurs - Giant, flying reptiles
  • Marsupials  and multituberculates (a small, superficially rodent-like mammals)

While the woolly mammoth, saber-toothed tiger, and the giant ground sloth went extinct, too, they outlived dinosaurs such as the Tyrannosaurus Rex and Triceratops by 60 million years.  The extinction that occurred some 65 million years ago wiped out nearly fifty per cent of the plants and animals on the earth.  This significant occurrence marked a major turning point in the earth's history, a period known as the Cretaceous and the beginning of the Tertiary Period.

lynn30k eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When the dinosaurs died out at the end of the Cretaceous, 65 million years ago, they were far from alone. Somewhere between 60 and 80% of all animal species, including some marine species and reptiles, were wiped out when the world became unable to support much plant life due to the amount of dust kicked up into the atmosphere by the impact of meteor(s). It wasn't all in the blink of an eye...dinosaur group extinctions had happened before. But 65 million years ago, the groups were not replaced by other dinosaur groups. Current thinking, though, is that all the dinosaurs did NOT go extinct. Present-day birds are strikingly similar to dinosaurs, and it is thought that birds are descended from dinosaurs.

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