Late cretaceous dinosaur-dominated ecosystem

A topic of considerable interest to paleontologists is how dinosaur-dominated ecosystems were structured, how dinosaurs and co-occurring animals were distributed across the landscape, how they interacted with one another, ...

Beetles changed their diet during the Cretaceous period

Like a snapshot, amber preserves bygone worlds. An international team of paleontologists from the University of Bonn has now described four new beetle species in fossilized tree resin from Myanmar, which belong to the Kateretidae ...

By gum! Scientists find new 110-million-year-old treasure

A remarkable new treasure has been found by scientists from the University of Portsmouth—the first fossil plant gum on record. The beautiful, amber-like material has been discovered in 110 million year old fossilised leaves.

Genomic fluke close-up

Parasitic flukes have been a leading source of food-borne infections, sparking fear and wreaking havoc on human public health, and contributed to more than 3 billion in animal agricultural losses per year in the U.S. alone.

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The Cretaceous ( /krɪˈteɪʃəs/), derived from the Latin "creta" (chalk), usually abbreviated K for its German translation Kreide (chalk), is a geologic period and system from circa 145.5 ± 4 to 65.5 ± 0.3 million years (Ma) ago. In the geologic timescale, the Cretaceous follows the Jurassic period and is followed by the Paleogene period of the Cenozoic era. It is the youngest period of the Mesozoic era, and at 80 million years long, the longest period of the Phanerozoic Eon. The end of the Cretaceous defines the boundary between the Mesozoic and Cenozoic eras. In many languages this period is known as "chalk period".

The Cretaceous was a period with a relatively warm climate and high eustatic sea level. The oceans and seas were populated with now extinct marine reptiles, ammonites and rudists; and the land by dinosaurs. At the same time, new groups of mammals and birds as well as flowering plants appeared. The Cretaceous ended with one of the largest mass extinctions in Earth history, the K–T extinction, when many species, including non-avian dinosaurs, pterosaurs, and large marine reptiles, disappeared.

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