1.1. The Triassic was 252 – 201 million years ago. During most of the period there was only one landmass large enough to be called a continent. It is called “Pangaea” which means “all land”. In principle it consisted of a fusion of most of today’s larger landmasses. The climate was so warm that there were no ice sheets. Since Pangaea was so very large, it was also a dry world.
1.1.1. The first episode takes place in the late Triassic. It is set in present-day Arizona. The area was then a tropical savannah with the wet season during the northern hemisphere winter. There Postosuchus, Placerias and cynodonts lived.
1.2. The Jurassic was 201 – 145 million years ago. During this period Pangaea started to split. The southern part of the north Atlantic formed separating Africa from North America. In this way Pangaea splintered in a northern and a southern half. The maximum distance to the sea shrunk which made the climate wetter. Towards the end of the period a small polar ice sheet formed in Antarctica. In contrast, there was no north polar ice sheet.
1.2.1. The second episode takes place towards the end of the Jurassic. It is set in what is now the American part of the Rocky Mountains. The area was covered in tropical and subtropical woodlands and plains. There Diplodocus and Brachiosaurus lived.
1.2.2. The third episode takes place at the very end of the Jurassic. It is set in Central Europe. Most of the area was covered in shallow, warm seas. No-one of the animals listed lived there at the time.
1.3. The Cretaceous was 145 – 66 million years ago. Both halves of Pangaea splintered in several continents roughly corresponding to those of today. The exception was Australia and Antarctica which were still connected. At the beginning there was a small south polar ice sheet but it seems to have melted away entirely. In the middle and late parts of the period there were no ice sheets at all.
1.3.1. The forth episode takes place in the early Cretaceous. It is set around the coasts of the north Atlantic which had then just stated to form. The sea’s coasts and islands had subtropical monsoon forest. There Utahraptor and Iguanodon lived.
1.3.2. The fifth episode takes place in the middle Cretaceous. It is set in what is now south-eastern Australia. The area was then within the Antarctic Circle. Despite its high latitude it was temperate woodland. There Leallynasaura and Koolasuchus lived.
1.3.3. A special episode made later takes place towards the end of the Cretaceous. It is set in present-day Mongolia. The area was subtropical and covered in open woods. There Mononykus and Therizinosaurus lived.
1.3.4. The last episode takes place at the very end of the Cretaceous. It is set in present-day Montana. The area was then covered in subtropical monsoon forest. There Tyrannosaurus and Ankylosaurus lived.
2.1. The Palaeogene was 66 – 23 million years ago. During this period Australia splintered of from Antarctica. Towards the end of the period Antarctica’s ice sheet started to form.
2.1.1. The first episode takes place in the middle of the Palaeogene. It is set in present-day Germany. The area was then covered in subtropical rainforest. There Propalaeotherium and Leptictidium tobieni lived.
2.1.2. The second episode takes place somewhat later but still in the middle of the Palaeogene. It is set in present-day Pakistan. The area was then partially covered in seas. The coasts had mangroves where Embolotherium andrewsi lived.
2.1.3. The third episode takes place towards the end of the Palaeogene. It is set present-day Mongolia. The area was then a subtropical savannah with the wet season during the northern hemisphere summer. There Paraceratherium, Cynodictis, Entelodon and Hyaenodon gigas lived.
2.2. The Neogene was 23 – 2.6 million years ago. Then the continents started to approach their current positions. Meanwhile, the climate continued to become even colder. At the very end of the period a north polar ice sheet stated to form.
2.2.1. The forth episode takes place towards the end of the Neogene. It is set in present-day Ethiopia. The area was then covered in tropical open woods and savannah. There Dinofelis barlowi and Ancylotherium hennigi lived.
2.3. The Quaternary consists of the past 2.6 million years. During this short period the continents has not moved much. The climate has varied between long, cold ice ages and shorter interglacials. Moreover, it has become colder for each new ice age. The last ice age (115,000 – 11,700 years ago) was the coldest of the Cenozoic.
2.3.2. The sixth episode takes place 30,000 years ago. It is set in Western Europe. Due to the colder climate much of Northern Europe was covered in ice. South of the ice sheet was a band of tundra. This was followed by plains with a mix of tundra and steppe plants. In turn it was followed by open woods of conifers. There Megaloceros giganteus and Coelodonta antiquitatis lived.
Please note the current human species has only existed for 300,000 years. Humanity has as such not lived through particularly large upheavals. Mostly, it is the climate which has varied with various sizes of ice sheets as consequence.
This page was last changed the 24th of February 2023.