Life Before Dinosaurs!
You guessed it, we went to another dinosaur exhibition. However, this one had a twist I don't think I had even ever heard of. The exhibition we went to see displayed pre-historic beasts from the Permian Period, 299 - 251 Million years ago. This period of time was the last of the Paleozoic Era and led into what we now know of as the Triassic Period where dinosaurs roamed the earth.
During the Permian Period almost all of earth's land masses were joined as one and known as Pangaea. The earth was ruled at that time by amazing pre-historic beasts that became part of earths largest extinction of land animals and sea creatures; even more catastrophic than the dinosaur extinction. The Permian extinction caused 90-95% of all sea life to become extinct and approximately 70% of land mammals. There are many theories as to why this occurred ranging from asteroid impacts to volcanic eruptions causing catastrophic climate changes and lack of oxygen. Either way the earth was made uninhabitable for the majority of the Permian beasts; it still took several million years for dinosaurs to become the dominant species and rule the earth as conditions became more favourable with life. http://www.geologyclass.org/cambrian_concepts4.htm
Well I can tell you that was news to me and our young dinosaur fans who were left feeling very confused about the whole thing. The exhibit at the museum showed a very interesting arrangement of odd looking animals, reptiles and sea creatures. Just when you thought you knew everything...