Dinosaurs  first appeared during the Triassic period, 231.4 million years ago, and were the dominant terrestrial vertebrates for 135 million years, from the start of the Jurassic (about 200 million years ago) until the end of the Cretaceous (66 million years ago).

The so called Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event led to the extinction of most dinosaur groups (and three-quarters of plant and animal species on Earth) ending the Mesozoic Era.

The fossil record indicates that birds evolved from theropod dinosaurs during the Jurassic Period and, consequently, they are considered to be modern feathered dinosaurs. Some birds survived the extinction event that occurred 66 million years ago, and their descendants continue the dinosaur lineage to the present day.