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File:Blakey 240moll.jpg
The world during the start of the Mesozoic
File:Blakey 90moll.jpg
The world at the end of the Mesozoic

The Mesozoic era is often called the era of the dinosaurs. It lasted from about 252.2 million years ago (mya) to about 66 mya.[1] It is the middle of three eras that make up the Phanerozoic.

Its three periods are:

The Mesozoic era began and ended with huge extinction events. It began after the Permian–Triassic extinction event and ended with the K/T extinction event which killed the dinosaurs.

Before the Mesozoic was the Palaeozoic era, (Permian period). After it was the Cainozoic era, (Palaeocene epoch).


  1. Gradstein, Felix M. James G. Ogg, Alan G. Smith (eds) 2005. A geologic time scale 2004. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-78673-8