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I'll give you a bit of context and understanding. What's happened is that two people are investigating a scientist who was believed to be involved in suspicious practices and they end up discovering that he's a "mad scientist".

Said scientist eventually traps the two and manages to send them back to a time period in the age of the dinosaurs. I want my characters to survive obviously so I want to send them back to the period where they are most likely to survive. So luckily they are sent to this period of time (which I don't know anything about).

Eventually my characters will return back to the modern day because they are able to fix the base (and time machine) that sent them to the past after three months to a year. Nevertheless surviving in the past is going to be tough.

Furthermore I know that the atmospheres, plant life, temperature and animal life was completely different. Still I want my characters to survive. Just want to give them the best chance of survival.

Given this what would be the best age or time period in the Mesozoic Era to send my characters back to?

For context my characters are living in North America so I guess picking a time and place in North America should help narrow it down. I hope this helps.

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  • $\begingroup$ Please clarify your specific problem or provide additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it's hard to tell exactly what you're asking. $\endgroup$
    – Community Bot
    Jun 18, 2022 at 11:39
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    $\begingroup$ Hi I'm really sorry about this. Does my explanation give a bit of clarity? $\endgroup$ Jun 18, 2022 at 11:52
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    $\begingroup$ I believe this is very clear. One question though: is the greatest danger from the weather, starvation, or dinosaur-like creatures? $\endgroup$
    – Wyvern123
    Jun 18, 2022 at 14:34
  • $\begingroup$ Hello ThePoarter, welcome to Worldbuilding. For future reference, questions like this have been frequently closed in the past because asking for the "best" or "worst" of anything is subjective without a horrific amount of detail. For example, where were they sent? What supplies/equipment/resources did they have? What are the skills of each person? Do they have access to additional resources, or are they on their own? Do they have goals/motivations other than survival? Are there women in the group? Etc., etc., etc. Try to provide all the detail you can, be specific, and avoid superlatives. $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Jun 19, 2022 at 8:02
  • $\begingroup$ Hi JBH. What would you consider a suitable about of detail in this instance? Should I write 300-400 words next time? Change something else? Or etc and etc? $\endgroup$ Jun 19, 2022 at 9:21

3 Answers 3

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Late cretaceous

that gives a world as close to what we have now as you can get. Grass and fruit will exist, even if there is no fruit they will recognize. the continents are in similar locations to today, the western interior seaway is mostly gone.

the climate is a lot warmer and more volatile so put your person closer to the poles than you would want today. There are no ice caps and the climate is about 10-15 degrees warmer, so the transition from summer to winter is more abrupt, IE short falls/autumns, but the winters are less harsh. Alaska is covered in dense forest, you actually have sub-polar tropics which is not something we have anything like today.

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2 years after Chicxulub

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicxulub_crater

The dinosaurs are gone. The flies and parasites that fed on them all died the next year, because there was nothing to eat. Grass and plants are lush. The land is empty of animals except for scuttling burrow dwellers.

It is a quiet, green, postapocalyptic world. There are lots of fish and crabs and mussels. There are fruits which fall to the ground uneaten. There are shrewlike creatures who watch your travelers - their descendants - with curiosity.

Maybe an occasional survivor is sighted - for example a huge crocodile that was aestivating in the mud when the asteroid hit, and which gorged on the cooked dead 2 years back. It is pretty hungry now.

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    $\begingroup$ I'm not sure two years is enough for a green world with lots of fruits etc. Maybe 2000 years is better so that the ash clouds have disappeared and climate is stable again. It will take much longer until new species evolve to fill the open ecological niches so that part should still apply. $\endgroup$
    – quarague
    Jun 19, 2022 at 7:50
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    $\begingroup$ They're not exactly being sent back to the time of the dinosaurs if they're being sent to a few years after the dinosaurs have gone extinct! $\endgroup$
    – nick012000
    Jun 19, 2022 at 11:05
  • $\begingroup$ @quarague - I did not think about the ash clouds. But I really wanted the giant crocodile! $\endgroup$
    – Willk
    Jun 19, 2022 at 15:40
  • $\begingroup$ Other considerations aside, how do you send them 2 year after, when we don't even know which year it happend ? Estimate give a range of 100k years ... $\endgroup$
    – Cthu
    Jun 20, 2022 at 8:13
  • $\begingroup$ @Cthu - probably the mad scientist made a lot of prior trips because he wanted to watch the meteor. Madness and all you know. So he figured out exactly when it was. He sent the protagonists 2 years after because he is mad, not mean. He is actually pretty nice. $\endgroup$
    – Willk
    Jun 21, 2022 at 0:06
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Place would be more important than time.

But if your people had supplies and were somewhere cold they might be ok, an Island in a lake would maybe be best. Too cold for amphibians or crocs to be active and too small to have giant predators.

Oxygen levels would be your other concern. Humans can tolerate fluctuations for a while, but not very long. Too much oxygen will make you light headed, and most of the Mesozoic would have had higher oxygen I would think. Too little and you asphyxiate, and there would have been periods like this as well.

So if they have a safish location it comes down to what survival skills they have and what tools and supplies they have with them. If they start with none and they're typical office workers, they're going to die. If one is a prepper they might make it. If they grew up on a farm or something they also might make it, or went through scout training etc.

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    $\begingroup$ Oh, the oxygen levels in the Mesozoic were within human tolerance. In general, the amount of oxygen in the atmosphere in the Mesozoic was lower than today, but still acceptable for humans. (That is, at sea level, of course. Since the amount of oxygen was lower to start with, living at altitudes above let's say 1500 meters or 5000 feet would have been quite difficult.) (Sea level at the time obviously. Our current sea level is about 200 meters below what it was in the Jurassic.) $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Jun 18, 2022 at 15:01
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    $\begingroup$ @AlexP best not to put the humans up a mountain then, might be safe from dino's and still die $\endgroup$
    – Kilisi
    Jun 18, 2022 at 15:22
  • $\begingroup$ @AlexP I thought that the oxygen levels in the time of the dinosaurs were higher than our own? That's why they had meter-long dragonflies and stuff? $\endgroup$
    – nick012000
    Jun 19, 2022 at 11:06
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    $\begingroup$ @nick012000: They didn't have meter-long dragonflies. Those scary insects lived in the Carboniferous, loooong before the age of the large dinosaurs. (Fun fact: the span of time between the gigantic insects of the Carboniferous and the gigantic dinosaurs of the Jurassic is longer than the span of time between those gigantic dinosaurs and the present.) $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Jun 19, 2022 at 11:11

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