Mesozoic Earth ] Back | Next >

 Earth orbit
 90 million years ago

Mean atmospheric O2
 150% of modern level

Mean atmospheric CO2
 6x pre-industrial level

Mean temperature
 4C above modern level

Mesozoic Earth - Late Cretaceous Earth as seen from orbit 90 million years ago; high eustatic sea level; Earth from space; plate tectonics; lithosphere; seafloor spreading; continental drift; tectonophysics - Natural History Illustration Geologic Time Scale

 Era: Mesozoic
  Period: Cretaceous
   Epoch: Late
    Age: Turonian


Late Cretaceous Earth

This is how the western hemisphere of the Earth may have appeared 90 million years ago during the Late Cretaceous period.

During this period continental drift, driven by the massive forces of plate tectonics, had broken the supercontinent of Pangea into Laurasia in the north and Gondwana in the south. With a climate much warmer than today's there were no frozen polar caps and the resulting high ocean levels submerged a third of today's landmasses under warm shallow seas creating numerous waterways and "island" continents.

In this image much of the incipient North American continent is divided by the Western Interior Seaway, the Isthmus of Panama is submerged by the Proto-Caribbean Sea, and the Pacific Ocean is making an incursion into South America. 



Copyright Walter B. Myers. All rights reserved.

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