Introduction to the question “What is the Jurassic period named after?”
- The Jura Mountains
- A 19th-century steamship
- Jura, Ontario
- A type of French wine
The correct answer to this quiz is The Jura Mountains.
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Answer to the question “What is the Jurassic period named after?“
The word “Jurassic” comes from the French “jurassique,” which literally means “of the Jura Mountains.” The Jura Mountains are a 225-mile system of mountain ranges located on the border between France and Switzerland. Not surprisingly, this is where rocks from the Jurassic period were first studied. French geologist and mineralogist Alexandre Brongniart gave the period its name in the early 19th century, though “Jura” itself dates back much further — it’s thought to come from the Gaulish word “iuris,” meaning “wooded mountain.” The Jurassic period, the second period of the Mesozoic era of geologic time, lasted from about 201 million to 145 million years ago. (Mesozoic comes from the Greek “meso” for “middle” and “zoe” for “life.”) When the Jurassic period began, most of the continents were joined in one big supercontinent we now call Pangea, until the Americas split off from Africa as the Atlantic formed.
The climate was relatively mild, and dinosaurs ruled the land, while crocodiles, ichthyosaurs, and plesiosaurs ruled the seas, and pterosaurs the air. Birds and early mammals also made their first appearances during the Jurassic period. The Steven Spielberg film “Jurassic Park,” of course, didn’t come along until 1993.
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