Cretaceous Animals - Kids Facts
Did you know there were a lot of Cretaceous animals? Not just the Dinosaurs! Find out who else was living during this amazing time.
Animals of the Cretaceous Period
144 to 165 million years ago the earth began to have seasons, which meant colder winters and warmer summers. This caused the appearance of many new groups of mammals and birds, as well as new Cretaceous plants.
The Cretaceous was teeming with life. Some of these animals are still around today.
There were several mammals around during the Cretaceous. Some examples areYanoconodon
Yanoconodon lived in what is now China. Some of them, such as Repenomamus grew so large they could eat small dinosaurs.Gobiconodon
This was a carnivorous mammal that looked like a large opossum. It grew to about 18 inches long.Eomaia
Eomaia means 'dawn mother' and was a very small mammal - about 4 inches in length. It lived in what is now China and was covered in fur.Crusafontia
A small mammal that may have looked like a squirrel.
Dinosaurs were reptiles - but not all reptiles are dinosaurs! Here are some other reptiles that lived at this time.Champsosaurus
The name Champsosaurus means 'crocodile lizard'. It hunted in rivers and swamps, catching fish in its long tooth-lined jaws.Snakes
Snakes are thought to have evolved from either burrowing or aquatic lizards during the Cretaceous period.Crocodiles
Crocodiles have not changed very much for 200 million years. They are the largest air-breathing animals to survive at the end of the Cretacious. It is believed they suvived because they can live as scavengers and can survive without food for months.Giant Tortoises
Giant Tortoises belong to the most ancient group of reptiles. They are one of the world's longest-living animals, living for 100 years or more.
The air of the Cretaceous period was filled with flying reptiles called pterosaurs (which means "winged lizard").
Pterosaurs are the earliest vertebrates known to have flown. They came in many sizes - from the very small Nemicolopterus to the largest known flying creatures of all time, including Quetzalcoatlus and Hatzegopteryx.
The Pterosaurs would have preyed on the other smaller cretaceous animals and dinosaurs.
During this era, insects began to diversify, and the oldest known ants, termites and some lepidopterans (like butterflies and moths) appeared. Aphids, grasshoppers, and gall wasps also developed. The new flowering plants of the time also brought the appearance of bees.
The seas of the Cretaceous were full of fish and molluscs. This provided lots of food for predators like swimming dinosaurs. Here are some sea animals of the time :Mosasaurus
The Mosasaurus was an aquatic lizard, like a flippered crocodile. Its name means "Meuse lizard", because it was found near the Meuse River.Trinacromerum
Looking like a 'four-flippered penguin, Trinacromerum could swim very fast. It fed on small fish, and grew to about 3 meters (10 feet) long.Clidastes
Clidastes was an agile and fast swimmer. It hunted on the surface or in shallow waters for fish, flying reptiles and anything that got too close. It grew to 2-4 meters (7-12 feet) in length.
You can see there were lots of Cretaceous animals.
Check out the Cretaceous dinosaurs they lived with.