The Day the Mesozoic Died

Finding the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs

Ever wonder why the dinosaurs disappeared? HHMI BioInteractive’s documentary The Day the Mesozoic Died investigates the cause of the mass extinction at the end of the Cretaceous period — and the clues come from paleontology, chemistry, physics, and biology.

The Mesozoic Era is the age of the dinosaurs and lasted almost 180 million years from approximately 250 to 65.5 million years ago. This era includes 3 well known periods called the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous periods.

A mass-extinction marked the beginning and end of the Mesozoic Era. The event that caused the transition from the Paleozoic era to the Mesozoic era was the greatest extinction this earth has seen. The extinction wiped out about 95% of all marine life and 70% of land-life. This allowed the dinosaurs to step in and settle into their role as the lords of the earth, until the Mesozoic era ended 65.5 million years ago with “The Great Extinction”. This marked the end of the dinosaurs and start of mammal supremacy as the Cenozoic era began.

The Day the Mesozoic Died has three different acts, each of them telling the story of the extraordinary detective work which solved one of the greatest scientific mysteries of all time; how the mass extinctions happened.

Explore the fossil evidence of these prehistoric animals, and other organisms that went extinct, in The Day the Mesozoic Died.

The Day the Mesozoic Died
  • Info
  • Release date2012
  • Full runtime
  • Director(s)Sarah Holt
  • Production companyHHMI