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Era in planet Earth's geological record lasting from ~250 million years ago to ~65 million years ago.
The Mesozoic era begins with the Permian mass extinction and ends with the Cretaceous mass extinction. During this era land was dominated by both dinosaurs (among vertebrates) and gymnosperms (among plants).
Making up the Mesozoic era are three periods (mya = million years ago):
Basically herbivorous dinosaurs ate gymnosperm plants, that is, not grass or other flowering plants because, to a large extent, flower plants did not exist during the age of the dinosaurs. In addition, it is not that the mammalian lineage originated during the Mesozoic era but instead that mammals evolved from mammal-like reptiles during the Triassic period of that era.
The Mesozoic era is preceded by the Paleozoic era and is followed by the Cenozoic era.
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