In many ways, the Triassic was a time of transition. It was at this time that the world-continent of Pangaea existed, altering global climate and ocean circulation. The Triassic also follows the largest extinction event in the history of life, and so is a time when the survivors of that event spread and recolonized.
The organisms of the Triassic can be considered to belong to one of three groups: holdovers from the Permo-Triassic extinction, new groups which flourished briefly, and new groups which went on to dominate the Mesozoic world. The holdovers included the lycophytes, glossopterids, and dicynodonts. While those that went on to dominate the Mesozoic world include modern conifers, cycadeoids, and the dinosaurs.
Click on the buttons below to learn more about the Triassic.
The chart at left shows the major subdivisions of the Triassic Period. Click to go forward to the Jurassic, or back to the end of the Paleozoic Era, the Permian Period.
The Triassic Period is part of the Mesozoic Era.
For more information, see Charles Messing's course notes on life in the Early Mesozoic.
Find out more about the Triassic paleontology and geology of North America at the Paleontology Portal.