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Geologic Timeline

Dinosaurs lived in what is called the Mesozoic Era, a period of time in the Earth's history spanning from about 252 to 66 million years ago (MYA). The history of the Earth has been categorized by geologists into time frames that are shown on the page below. Only the Mesozoic era is shown below, as that is the era that concerns dinosaurs. For that reason, and to save space, the eon (Phanerozoic) and era (Mesozoic) are not shown.

The timeline of the Earth is divided into Eons, which span large swaths of time. Eons are divided into Eras, which are divided into Periods. Periods are divided into Epochs, and Epochs are further divided into Ages. In the table below, you can see the divisions of the timeline, the ranges of each section, and a brief definition of the name. Click on a cell in the table to search for dinosaurs from that time.

PeriodEpochAge
Cretaceous
145 - 66 MYA
From Greek for "chalk", as that's when chalk was formed
Late Cretaceous
100.5 - 66 MYA
Maastrichtian
72.1 - 66 MYA
For the Dutch city of Maastricht, around which fossils from the time were discovered
Campanian
83.6 - 72.1 MYA
For the French town of Champagne, around which formations from the time were discovered
Santonian
86.3 - 83.6 MYA
For the French town of Sainte, where the original type locality is
Coniacian
89.8 - 86.3 MYA
For the French city of Cognac
Turonian
93.9 - 89.8 MYA
For the French city of Tours, where the type loality is
Cenomanian
100.5 - 93.9 MYA
For the French city of Le Mans (via New Latin)
Early Cretaceous
145 - 100.5 MYA
Albian
113 - 100.5 MYA
For the Latinised name of the River Aube in France
Aptian
125 - 113 MYA
For the French city of Apt, where the type locality is
Barremian
129.4 - 125 MYA
For the French city of BarrĂªme, where the type locality is
Hauterivian
132.9 - 129.4 MYA
For the Swiss town of Hauterive
Valanginian
139.8 - 132.9 MYA
For the Swiss town of Valangin
Berriasian
145 - 139.8 MYA
For the French town of Berrias
Jurassic
201.3 - 145 MYA
Named after the Jura Mountains along the French-Swiss border, where limestone from the period was first discovered
Late Jurassic
163.5 - 145 MYA
Tithonian
152.1 - 145 MYA
From Tithonus of Greek mythology, who fell in love with Eos, the goddess of dawn, as this age leads to the dawn of the Cretaceous
Kimmeridgian
157.3 - 152.1 MYA
For the village of Kimmerage in England, where the type locality is
Oxfordian
163.5 - 157.3 MYA
For the English city of Oxford
Middle Jurassic
174.1 - 163.5 MYA
Callovian
166.1 - 163.5 MYA
The Latinised name of the English hamlet of Kellaways Bridge
Bathonian
168.3 - 166.1 MYA
For the English town of Bath, where the type locality is
Bajocian
170.3 - 168.3 MYA
For the Latinised name of the French town of Bayeux
Aalenian
174.1 - 170.3 MYA
For the German town of Aalen
Early Jurassic
201.3 - 174.1 MYA
Toarcian
182.7 - 174.1 MYA
For the French city of Thouras
Pliensbachian
190.8 - 182.7 MYA
For the German hamlet of Pliensbach
Sinemurian
199.3 - 190.8 MYA
For the French town of Semur-en-Auxois
Hettangian
201.3 - 199.3 MYA
For the French town of Hettange-Grande
Triassic
251.9 - 201.3 MYA
For the three distinct rock layers (called the Trias) in Europe from the time
Late Triassic
237 - 201.3 MYA
Rhaetian
208.5 - 201.3 MYA
For the Rhaetian Alps, across Switzerland, Italy, and Austria
Norian
227 - 208.5 MYA
For the Noric Alps in Austria
Carnian
237 - 227 MYA
For either the Carnic Alps, or Carinthia region of Austria
Middle Triassic
247.2 - 237 MYA
Ladinian
242 - 237 MYA
For the Ladin people of the Dolomites in the Italian Alps
Anisian
247.2 - 242 MYA
The Latinised name of the Enns River in Austria
Early Triassic
251.9 - 247.2 MYA
Olenekian
251.2 - 247.2 MYA
For the Russian Olenyok River
Induan
251.9 - 251.2 MYA
For the Indus region of India and Pakistan