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The Triassic Period — roughly 251 to 199 million years ago
Around 245 million years ago the first dinosaurs appeared. This was during what geologists call the Triassic Period — the first period of the Mesozoic Era. Dinosaurs were reptiles and they had been preceded for millions of years by other reptiles on land. Conditions had allowed the survival of the larger reptiles, whose size helped them survive. These first dinosaurs were divided into various species. Wikipedia, under the heading “Triassic dinosaurs,” lists more than fifty different species. Scientists described them as having been as much as 10 meters long, including tail. They looked like big lizards with large and powerful hind legs and weaker front legs about half as big. On the end of a long neck, their heads were made light in weight by large air spaces inside the skull.