Cretaceous Period Facts
- Period Name: Cretaceous
- Era: Mesozosic
- Period Span: 79 million years
- Succeeded Period: Jurassic
- Preceded Period: Paleogene
- Example of Dinosaurs: Tyrannosaurus rex and Triceratops
14 Cretaceous Period Facts
- The Cretaceous Period is the third of the three geologic periods of the Mesozoic Era.
- The Cretaceous Period was the longest period of the Mesozoic Era.
- The Cretaceous Period lasted roughly 79 million years.
- The Cretaceous Period occurred between 145 and 66 million years ago.
- The Cretaceous Period had two epochs, the Early Cretaceous and Late Cretaceous. This is the only geologic period in the Mesozoic Era that had two epochs, the other two periods had three epochs each.
- The Early Cretaceous Period was roughly between 145 and 100 million years ago.
- The Late Cretaceous Period was roughly between 100 and 66 million years ago.
- The end of the Cretaceous Period saw the extinction of the dinosaurs. This was called the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event and believed to have been caused by an asteroid or comet impact event.
- The continents as we know them today were completely separated by the end of the Late Cretaceous Period.
- The Cretaceous Period was when flowering plants started to appear and spread across the globe.
- The Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event paved the way for mammals to dominate the planet Earth and ultimately the rise of humans.
- The greatest predator to ever roam the planet lived in the Late Cretaceous Period, the Tyrannosaurus rex.
- Some of the dinosaurs that lived during the Cretaceous Period were the Carnotaurus, Gallimimus, Triceratops and the Velociraptor.
- The Cretaceous Period was first defined by Belgian geologist Jean d’Omalius d’Halloy in 1822.
Dinosaurs Pictures from the Cretaceous Period
A photo of a Velociraptor fossil, a dinosaur that lived during the Late Cretaceous Period.
A photo of a Tyrannosaurus rex fossil, a dinosaur from the Cretaceous Period.
Credit: Burpee Museum of Natural History
A photo of a Triceratops fossil, a dinosaur that lived during the Late Cretaceous Period.
Additional Resources on the Cretaceous Period
- Cretaceous Period – The Paleontology Portal – Discover the Creataceous period and learn more about it on the The Paleontology Portal website.
- The Cretaceous Period – Find more Creataceous period facts on the Brekeley website.
- Cretaceous – Wikipedia – Read the Wikipedia entry on the Cretaceous period to learn more about it.