SCIENCE!

Animals of the Triassic and Permian times

Hey everyone! Since you’re reading Triassic Park, why not learn about the animals that lived during this time period? Science is fun!

Cockroaches

scockroaches

Wikipedia article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cockroach

Characters: Tiku & Max; Konchu from Rising Sun

Time period: Devonian-modern day

Size: 1 or 2 inches long

About: Cockroaches are one of those animals that has been around for a long time, yet haven’t really changed since they first evolved. These insects are closely related to termites, and many species of cockroach are social animals. Cockroaches are infamously hard to kill and this is partially why they are such hated pests. Although they can fly, they rarely do for some reason.

Milleretta

Smilleretta.png

Wikipedia article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milleretta

Characters: Milter

Time period: Late Permian

Size: 60 centimeters (about 2 feet) long

About: Although it looks like a modern-day lizard, Milleretta was more closely related to turtles. This small insectivorous animal lived during the late Permian period, about 250 million years ago. It could move quite fast to catch prey or escape danger, but probably spent a good deal of its time just lying around in the sun–like all reptiles, it was cold-blooded.

Thrinaxodon

sthrinaxodon

Wikipedia article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thrinaxodon

Characters: Juan; Grumpy Cat parody in “Reverse Time Capsule”; one of Juan’s students; Appears in “Explanation”

Time period: Permian-Triassic

Size: 1 foot 8 inches long

About: A small mammal-like reptile, Thrinaxodon was a carnivore that probably hunted other MLRs and possibly even early dinosaurs. It lived in burrows, which it either dug itself or borrowed from other burrowing animals of the day (a behavior still common in creatures today). Though it had fur like a mammal, Thrinaxodon is still considered a reptile because of certain details of its skeleton.

Dragonflies

lolathing

Wikipedia article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dragonfly

Characters: Lola

Time Period: Carboniferous-modern day

Size: The smallest are less than 1 inch, the largest were over 2 feet

About: These predatory insects are one of the oldest types of animals still alive today. While some bugs only have one pair of wings, dragonflies have double. The front pair isn’t shaped quite the same as the back pair, either. Dragonflies start their lives as aquatic creatures but undergo a series of molts until they finally gain their wings. The ancient relatives of dragonflies, the griffinflies, were the fiercest aerial predators of their day…but they disappeared in the Permian Extinction.

Robertia

srobertia

Wikipedia article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robertia

Characters: Roberta

Time Period: Late Permian

Size: 20 centimeters (8 inches) long

About: Robertia is a member of a group of MLRs called dicynodonts. The name refers to those cute little fangs these animals sport! Robertia was a tiny creature, and to avoid being eaten by the many predators of its day it burrowed into the ground and spent most of its time there. It may even have eaten the roots of plants it was digging under–it was certainly a herbivore, and those teeth must have been good for something. 

Eoraptor

seoraptor

Wikipedia article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eoraptor

Characters: Megellan; Louis

Time Period: Triassic

Size: 3 feet long

About: Possibly the first dinosaur that ever existed, Eoraptor was a small bipedal carnivore. Its fossils have been found on an ancient riverbed, so it may have eaten fish as well as small terrestrial prey. Faster and smarter than most of the animals around it, Eoraptor was in a prime position to dominate the new world of the Triassic. And it pretty much did, considering that its descendants ruled the earth for 200 million years and are still alive today!

Longisquama

slongisquama

Wikipedia Article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Longisquama

Characters: That One Guy; Extra in “Comedy Club”

Time Period: mid-Triassic

Size: 6 inches long

About: What a strange little creature! Longisquama were small, lizard-shaped reptiles that sported long “quills” along their backs. Some people think that these were merely scales and others think they could have been primitive feathers. Either way, Longisquama is related to several other gliding reptiles so it’s likely the quills could be spread out on either side of this animal and used as wings, allowing Longisquama to glide in a manner similar to a modern flying-squirrel. The quills also could have been brightly colored for courtship purposes.

Morganucodon

smorganucodon

Wikipedia Article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morganucodon

Characters: Fumu; Yurui from Rising Sun

Time Period: Triassic-Jurassic

Size: about 4 inches long

About: Morganucodon is considered by some to be one of the earliest mammals, because it has all the features that make modern mammals distinct. However others claim it’s just a relative of mammals, because it lived before the most recent common ancestor of all contemporary mammals. Morganucodon fed on small invertebrates like insects, worms, and centipedes. Because it was small and didn’t stand a chance against the reptilian predators of the day, it was probably nocturnal. At night, a warm-blooded animal like Morganucodon could be active without having to worry about cold-blooded predators. Color-receptive cells in the eyes are almost useless in low light, so these nocturnal animals lost one and replaced it with extra rod cells (to help them see in the dark). That’s why most mammals today, including dogs and cats, are partially colorblind!

Pisanosaurus

pisanosaurus

Wikipedia Article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pisanosaurus

Characters: Chathi; Appears in “Convergent Evolution”

Time Period: Late Triassic

Size: 1 meter long

About: Pisanosaurus was an early Heterodontosaur. Heterodontosaurs are an important dinosaur family that is constantly getting neglected. You might not even have heard of them before. They’re the ancestors of nearly half the dinosaur family tree; they had opposable thumbs and sharp tusks; their feathers did not even remotely resemble those of modern birds. Pisanosaurus is the earliest known member of the group, and is so primitive compared to the rest that it was once given its own family, of which it was the only member. Also Pisanosaurus has been reconstructed with its tusks coming out of the lower jaw, but no one told me about this and it is far too late to change my character design. Oh well?

Euparkeria

euparkeriapic

Wikipedia Article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euparkeria

Characters: The unnamed Devonia’s Witness missionary

Time Period: Mid-Triassic

Size: 2 feet long

About: This relative of dinosaurs was capable of walking on its hind legs.

Dimetrodon

dimetrodonpic

Wikipedia Article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dimetrodon

Characters: Fang from Pelycosaur Hour; Extra in “I think my timeline’s broken”; Skeleton in “Hyperbole”

Time Period: Early Permian

Size: Ranging from under 6 to over 15 feet long

About: Dimetrodon is a pelycosaur, a distant ancestor of modern mammals.

Peltobatrachus

amphibipic

Wikipedia Article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peltobatrachus

Characters: Extra in “I think my timeline’s broken”

Time Period: Permian

Size: about 2 feet 4 inches long

About: It was a terrestrial amphibian that returned to the water only to lay its eggs.

Tapinocephalus

tapinopic

Wikipedia Article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tapinocephalus

Characters: Extra in “I think my timeline’s broken”

Time Period: Permian

Size: over 10 feet long

About: This thick-skulled MLR was one of the largest land animals of its time.

Titanosuchus

titanosuchus

Wikipedia Article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Titanosuchus

Characters: Extra in “I think my timeline’s broken”

Time Period: Permian

Size: 2.5 meters long

About: Its name means “crocodile titan”, but it was actually a therapsid.

Massetognathus

Wikipedia Article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massetognathus

Characters: Pascul; Extra in “Comedy Club”

Time Period: Mid-Triassic

Size: about a foot and a half long

About: Massetognathus was warm-blooded and furry but laid eggs like a reptile.

Preondactylus

Wikipedia Article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preondactylus

Characters: The unnamed guy with strong opinions about politics

Time Period: Late Triassic

Size: 18 inch wingspan

About: Preondactylus is not a pterodactyl; it’s an earlier type of long-tailed pterosaur.

Henodus

Wikipedia Article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henodus

Characters: The salesman in “Life Hacks”; appears in “Convergent Evolution”

Time Period: Triassic

Size: 1 meter long

About: Despite looking like a turtle, Henodus was actually related to plesiosaurs.

Millipedes

Wikipedia Article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millipede

Characters: The newscaster in “Your words, not mine”

Time Period: Silurian-Modern day

Size: The smallest are only 3 millimeters; the biggest was 8 feet long

About: Millipedes are slow-moving and generally harmless, but they kind of look like centipedes (which are freakishly fast and have poisonous claws) so be careful.

“Sellosaurus” (P. gracilis)

Wikipedia Article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plateosaurus

Characters: Miss Sophie in “Your words, not mine”

Time Period: Triassic

Size: About 14 feet long

About: We used to call this dinosaur a Sellosaurus. Now we call it a Plateosaurus gracilis.

Rhamphorhynchus

Wikipedia Article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhamphorhynchus

Characters: Mentioned in “Truth or Dare part 1”

Time Period: Jurassic

Size: 2 meter wingspan

About: Also not a pterodactyl.

Helicoprion

Wikipedia Article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helicoprion

Characters: Fred the Fish parody in “Reverse Time Capsule”; Mentioned in “Yo Mama”

Time Period: Permian-Triassic

Size: Uncertain, but possibly up to 40 feet long

About: This shark had a bizarre spiral-shaped jaw called a “tooth whirl”.

Lacertulus

Wikipedia Article: There is none.

Characters: Confession Bear parody in “Reverse Time Capsule”; the doctor in “NOOOOO!!!!!”

Time Period: Late Permian

Size: 5 centimeters long

About: A small lizard-like animal that doesn’t even have its own Wikipedia page.

Megazostrodon

Wikipedia Article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Megazostrodon

Characters: Two extras in “Clash of Isms”; one of Juan’s students

Time Period: Triassic-Jurassic

Size: about 4 inches long

About: Megazostrodon was a nocturnal mammal that resembled a rodent.

Lycaenops

Wikipedia Article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lycaenops

Characters: Gruyere from Colby Jack; Extra in “This is Tiku”

Time Period: Permian

Size: 1 meter long

About: Thanks to its straight-legged posture, it was able to easily outrun other animals of the time.

Rauisuchus

Wikipedia Article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rauisuchus

Characters: Juan’s henchman in “Juan returns!”; one of Juan’s students

Time Period: Triassic

Size: 13 feet long

About: Rauisuchus was at the top of the Triassic food chain; its prey even included dinosaurs.

Spiders

Wikipedia Article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spider

Characters: Milter’s would-be lunch in “Top of the Food Chain”; Appear in “One More of These”

Time Period: Appeared sometime before the Triassic; still around today

Size: Varied. EXTREMELY varied.

About: These eight-legged invertabrates are one of the most diverse animal groups of all time…

Protoavis

Wikipedia Article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protoavis

Characters: Tou in Rising Sun; one of Juan’s students

Time Period: Late Triassic

Size: When it was discovered this dinosaur was thought to be a bird predating Archaeopteryx; thus it was given this name meaning “first bird”. It has since been established that it was probably not a bird, just a very feathery dinosaur.

Dicynodon

Wikipedia Article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dicynodon

Characters: Niha from Rising Sun

Time Period: Permian

Size: Apart from its large, comical looking tusks, this animal was nearly toothless.

Herrerasaurus

Wikipedia Article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herrerasaurus

Characters: Monterey from Colby Jack

Time Period: Triassic

Size: Up to 20 feet long

About: A fearsome predator, this was one of the first decent-sized meat-eating dinosaurs.

Snakeflies

Wikipedia Article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snakefly

Characters: Swiss from Colby Jack; Guy on the left in “Getting Philosophical 2”

Time Period: Early Jurassic-modern day

Size: Ranging from 8 mm to 21 cm in wingspan

About: Insects with long “necks”. These things are just bizarre.

Diplocaulus

Wikipedia Article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diplocaulus

Characters: Asiago from Colby Jack

Time Period: Permian

Size: 1 meter long

About: Its oddly shaped head made this amphibian rather hard for predators to swallow.

Grasshoppers

Wikipedia Article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grasshopper

Characters: Guy on the right in “Getting Philosophical 2”

Time Period: Triassic-modern day

Size: Up to about 5 inches long

About: Locusts are just grasshoppers that have formed a swarm. Seriously.

Edaphosaurus

Wikipedia Article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edaphosaurus

Characters: Sail from Pelycosaur Hour

Time Period: Late Carboniferous-early Permian

Size: Between 2 and 12 feet long (among different species)

About: Though closely related to sailback pelycosaurs like Dimetrodon, Edaphosaurus evolved its sail independently in a bizarre case of parallel evolution.

Sphenacodon

Wikipedia Article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sphenacodon

Characters: Sphen from Pelycosaur Hour

Time Period: Late Carboniferous-early Permian

Size: 2-3 meters long

About: The less famous, shorter-sailed cousin of Dimetrodon.

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