Late Jurassic
The Late Jurassic is the third epoch
Epoch (geology)
An epoch is a subdivision of the geologic timescale based on rock layering. In order, the higher subdivisions are periods, eras and eons. We are currently living in the Holocene epoch...

 of the Jurassic
The Jurassic is a geologic period and system that extends from about Mya to  Mya, that is, from the end of the Triassic to the beginning of the Cretaceous. The Jurassic constitutes the middle period of the Mesozoic era, also known as the age of reptiles. The start of the period is marked by...

 Period, and it spans the geologic time
Geologic time scale
The geologic time scale provides a system of chronologic measurement relating stratigraphy to time that is used by geologists, paleontologists and other earth scientists to describe the timing and relationships between events that have occurred during the history of the Earth...

 from 161.2 ± 4.0 to 145.5 ± 4.0 million years ago (Ma), which is preserved in Upper Jurassic strata
In geology and related fields, a stratum is a layer of sedimentary rock or soil with internally consistent characteristics that distinguish it from other layers...

. In European lithostratigraphy
Lithostratigraphy is a sub-discipline of stratigraphy, the geological science associated with the study of strata or rock layers. Major focuses include geochronology, comparative geology, and petrology...

, the name "Malm
is a former municipality, a village, and the administrative centre of the municipality of Verran in Nord-Trøndelag county, Norway. Malm is located along the Trondheimsfjord, about a drive west from the town of Steinkjer. The village of Malm has a population of 1,572. The population density of...

" indicates rocks of Late Jurassic age. In the past, this name was also used to indicate the unit of geological time, but this usage is now discouraged to make a clear distinction between lithostratigraphic and geochronologic/chronostratigraphic units.


The Late Jurassic is divided into three ages, which correspond with the three (faunal) stages of Upper Jurassic rock:
In the geologic timescale the Tithonian is the latest age of the Late Jurassic epoch or the uppermost stage of the Upper Jurassic series. It spans the time between 150.8 ± 4 Ma and 145.5 ± 4 Ma...

(150.8 ± 4.0 – 145.5 ± 4.0 Ma)
In the geologic timescale, the Kimmeridgian is an age or stage in the Late or Upper Jurassic epoch or series. It spans the time between 155.7 ± 4 Ma and 150.8 ± 4 Ma . The Kimmeridgian follows the Oxfordian and precedes the Tithonian....

(155.7 ± 4.0 – 150.8 ± 4.0 Ma)
Oxfordian stage
The Oxfordian is, in the ICS' geologic timescale, the earliest age of the Late Jurassic epoch, or the lowest stage of the Upper Jurassic series. It spans the time between 161.2 ± 4 Ma and 155.7 ± 4 Ma...

(161.2 ± 4.0 – 155.7 ± 4.0 Ma)


During the Late Jurassic epoch, Pangaea
Pangaea, Pangæa, or Pangea is hypothesized as a supercontinent that existed during the Paleozoic and Mesozoic eras about 250 million years ago, before the component continents were separated into their current configuration....

 broke up into two supercontinent
In geology, a supercontinent is a landmass comprising more than one continental core, or craton. The assembly of cratons and accreted terranes that form Eurasia qualifies as a supercontinent today.-History:...

s, Laurasia
In paleogeography, Laurasia was the northernmost of two supercontinents that formed part of the Pangaea supercontinent from approximately...

 to the north, and Gondwana
In paleogeography, Gondwana , originally Gondwanaland, was the southernmost of two supercontinents that later became parts of the Pangaea supercontinent. It existed from approximately 510 to 180 million years ago . Gondwana is believed to have sutured between ca. 570 and 510 Mya,...

 to the south. The result of this break-up was the spawning of the Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's oceanic divisions. With a total area of about , it covers approximately 20% of the Earth's surface and about 26% of its water surface area...

. However, at this time, the Atlantic Ocean was relatively narrow.

Life forms of the epoch

This epoch is well known for many famous types of dinosaur
Dinosaurs are a diverse group of animals of the clade and superorder Dinosauria. They were the dominant terrestrial vertebrates for over 160 million years, from the late Triassic period until the end of the Cretaceous , when the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event led to the extinction of...

s, such as the sauropods, the theropods, the thyreophora
The Thyreophora were a subgroup of the ornithischian dinosaurs...

ns, and the ornithopod
Ornithopods or members of the clade Ornithopoda are a group of ornithischian dinosaurs that started out as small, bipedal running grazers, and grew in size and numbers until they became one of the most successful groups of herbivores in the Cretaceous world, and dominated the North American...

s. Other animals, such as crocodiles and the first birds, appeared in the Jurassic. Listed here are only a few of the many Jurassic animals:
    • Camarasaurus
      Camarasaurus meaning 'chambered lizard', referring to the hollow chambers in its vertebrae was a genus of quadrupedal, herbivorous dinosaurs. It was the most common of the giant sauropods to be found in North America...

      , a large herbivorous sauropod dinosaur from North America.
    • Brachiosaurus
      Brachiosaurus is a genus of sauropod dinosaur from the Jurassic Morrison Formation of North America. It was first described by Elmer S. Riggs in 1903 from fossils found in the Grand River Canyon of western Colorado, in the United States. Riggs named the dinosaur Brachiosaurus altithorax,...

      , a large herbivorous sauropod dinosaur from North America.
    • Diplodocus
      Diplodocus , or )is a genus of diplodocid sauropod dinosaur whose fossils were first discovered in 1877 by S. W. Williston. The generic name, coined by Othniel Charles Marsh in 1878, is a Neo-Latin term derived from Greek "double" and "beam", in reference to its double-beamed chevron bones...

      , a large herbivorous sauropod dinosaur from North America.
    • Europasaurus
      Europasaurus is a basal macronarian sauropod, a form of quadrupedal herbivorous dinosaur. It lived during the Late Jurassic of northern Germany, and has been identified as an example of insular dwarfism resulting from the isolation of a sauropod population on an island within the Lower Saxony...

      , a small herbivorous sauropod dinosaur from Europe.
    • Supersaurus
      Supersaurus is a genus of diplodocid sauropod dinosaur discovered by Vivian Jones of Delta, Colorado, in the Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation of Colorado in 1972. The fossil remains came from the Brushy Basin Member of the formation, dating to about 153 million years ago...

      , possibly the largest North American sauropod of them all.
    • Dicraeosaurus
      Dicraeosaurus is a genus of small diplodocoid sauropod dinosaur. It was named for the spines on the back of the neck. The first fossil was described by paleontologist Werner Janensch in 1914.Unlike most diplodocoids, Dicraeosaurus had a large head with a relatively short and wide neck...

      , a large herbivorous sauropod dinosaur from Africa.
    • Giraffatitan
      Giraffatitan, meaning "giraffe titan", is a genus of sauropod dinosaur that lived during the late Jurassic Period . It was originally named as an African species of Brachiosaurus...

      , another large sauropod from Africa (usually recognized as a species of Brachiosaurus).
    • Allosaurus
      Allosaurus is a genus of large theropod dinosaur that lived 155 to 150 million years ago during the late Jurassic period . The name Allosaurus means "different lizard". It is derived from the Greek /allos and /sauros...

      , the most common late Jurassic theropod of North America, also present in Europe.
    • Epanterias
      Epanterias is a dubious genus of theropod dinosaur from the Kimmeridgian-Tithonian-age Upper Jurassic upper Morrison Formation of Garden Park, Colorado. It was described by Edward Drinker Cope in 1878. The type species is Epanterias amplexus. This genus is based on what is now AMNH 5767, parts of...

      , one of the largest Jurassic carnivores, from North America (possibly just Allosaurus).
    • Torvosaurus
      Torvosaurus is a genus of large theropod dinosaur that lived during the Late Jurassic period...

      , possibly the largest Jurassic carnivore of all, from North America and Europe.
    • Ceratosaurus
      Ceratosaurus meaning "horned lizard", in reference to the horn on its nose , was a large predatory theropod dinosaur from the Late Jurassic Period , found in the Morrison Formation of North America, in Tanzania and Portugal...

      , a medium sized Jurassic carnivore of North America, Europe, and possibly Africa.
    • Compsognathus
      Compsognathus was a small, bipedal, carnivorous theropod dinosaur. The animal was the size of a turkey and lived around 150 million years ago, the early Tithonian stage of the late Jurassic Period, in what is now Europe. Paleontologists have found two well-preserved fossils, one in Germany...

      , a small theropod from Europe.
    • Yangchuanosaurus
      Yangchuanosaurus was a theropod dinosaur that lived in China during the late Oxfordian stage of the Late Jurassic, and was similar in size and appearance to its North American contemporary, Allosaurus...

      , a large theropod from Asia.
    • Tuojiangosaurus
      Tuojiangosaurus is a genus of stegosaurid dinosaur from the Late Jurassic Period, recovered from the Upper Shaximiao Formation of what is now Sichuan Province in China. Physically similar to the North American Stegosaurus, Tuojiangosaurus is the best understood of the Chinese stegosaurids...

      , a thyreophoran from Asia.
    • Stegosaurus
      Stegosaurus is a genus of armored stegosaurid dinosaur. They lived during the Late Jurassic period , some 155 to 150 million years ago in what is now western North America. In 2006, a specimen of Stegosaurus was announced from Portugal, showing that they were present in Europe as well...

      , a thyreophoran from North America and Europe.
    • Dryosaurus
      Dryosaurus is a genus of an ornithopod dinosaur that lived in the Late Jurassic period. It was an iguanodont . Fossils have been found in the western United States, and were first discovered in the late 19th century...

      , a North American ornithopod.
    • Camptosaurus
      Camptosaurus is a genus of plant-eating, beaked ornithischian dinosaurs of the Late Jurassic period of western North America. The name means 'flexible lizard', ....

      , an ornithopod from North America and possibly Europe.
    • Gargoyleosaurus
      Gargoyleosaurus is one of the earliest ankylosaurs known from reasonably complete fossil remains. Its skull measures in length, and its total body length is an estimated . It may have weighed as much as...

      , a thyreophoran from North America.
    • Archaeopteryx
      Archaeopteryx , sometimes referred to by its German name Urvogel , is a genus of theropod dinosaur that is closely related to birds. The name derives from the Ancient Greek meaning "ancient", and , meaning "feather" or "wing"...

      , the first known bird, from Europe.
    • Rhamphorhynchus a long-tailed pterosaur
      Pterosaurs were flying reptiles of the clade or order Pterosauria. They existed from the late Triassic to the end of the Cretaceous Period . Pterosaurs are the earliest vertebrates known to have evolved powered flight...

       from Europe.
    • Pterodactylus
      Pterodactylus is a genus of pterosaurs, whose members are popularly known as pterodactyls. It was the first to be named and identified as a flying reptile...

      , a short-tailed pterosaur
      Pterosaurs were flying reptiles of the clade or order Pterosauria. They existed from the late Triassic to the end of the Cretaceous Period . Pterosaurs are the earliest vertebrates known to have evolved powered flight...

       from Europe.
    • Ophthalmosaurus
      Ophthalmosaurus is an ichthyosaur of the Middle to Late Jurassic period , named for its extremely large eyes. It had a graceful 6 metre long dolphin-shaped body, and its almost toothless jaw was well adapted for catching squid...

      , a very common sea-going ichthyosaur
      Ichthyosaurs were giant marine reptiles that resembled fish and dolphins...

       from what is now Europe and North America.
    • Liopleurodon
      Liopleurodon is a genus of large, carnivorous marine reptile belonging to the Pliosauroidea, a clade of short-necked plesiosaurs. Two species of Liopleurodon lived during the Callovian stage of the Middle Jurassic Period , while the third, L. rossicus, lived during the Late Jurassic...

      , a very large sea-going pliosaur
      Pliosauroidea is an extinct clade of marine reptiles. Pliosauroids, also commonly known as pliosaurs, are known from the Jurassic and Cretaceous Periods. The pliosauroids were short-necked plesiosaurs with large heads and massive toothed jaws. These swimming reptiles were not dinosaurs but distant...

       from what is now Europe.
    • Perisphinctes
      Perisphinctes is an extinct genus of ammonite cephalopod. They lived during the Jurassic Period , and serve as an index fossil for that time period....

      , an ammonite
      Ammonite, as a zoological or paleontological term, refers to any member of the Ammonoidea an extinct subclass within the Molluscan class Cephalopoda which are more closely related to living coleoids Ammonite, as a zoological or paleontological term, refers to any member of the Ammonoidea an extinct...

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