One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Relating to or denoting the last period of the Mesozoic era, between the Jurassic and Tertiary periods.
- ‘The Jurassic and Cretaceous together were the age of giant reptiles.’
- ‘For that matter, extant birds are quite different from Jurassic and Cretaceous birds.’
- ‘These crucial means of breeding prevailed throughout the Jurassic and Cretaceous times.’
- ‘The foothills of the Pyrenees are composed of sedimentary Jurassic and Cretaceous limestones which favour the creation of natural cave systems.’
- ‘As such, they have been found fossilized in Jurassic and Cretaceous deposits, and have been used to reconstruct paleoclimates.’
- 1.1as noun the Cretaceous The Cretaceous period or the system of rocks deposited during it.
Late 17th century: from Latin cretaceus (from creta ‘chalk’) + -ous.
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