Everyone probably knows the story of the dinosaurs, a species of dominant reptiles that roamed our planet before the human race even existed. We also know how they perished, when an asteroid hit the Earth about 65 million years ago. That major catastrophe triggered a series of other environmental changes which, in time, wiped out about 75% of all life on the planet. However, we don’t know much about how these beasts came to be, and how did they end up dominating the animal kingdom.
Insufficient scientific evidence has failed countless times to tell us more about the genesis of dinosaurs. Experts only know that they came to be about 245 million years ago. However, the greater questions are how and why? Well, according to a new study which the journal Nature Communications recently published, their rise to prominence might be linked to another major extinction event. That one cleared all previous life on Earth clearing up the path for the dinosaurs to rise.
The initial mass extinction event
According to study co-author Mike Benton, about 232 million years ago, some massive volcanic eruptions took place where now is Western Canada. These eruptions triggered a series of earthquakes, bursts of acid rain and global warming. These wiped the majority of life on the planet. Experts call this event the Carnian Pluvial Episode and according to them, it allowed dinosaurs to evolve and strive. Before that, their numbers were very small.
It’s interesting that this initial extinction event didn’t only clear the path for dinosaurs, but for many species that we still have today. Among them being turtles, lizards, crocodiles and finally, mammals. The team of expert reached this conclusion after discovering evidence for climate change in the Dolomites, in northern Italy. This is how they figured out that repeated extinctions must have taken place, not only the one we know of. Moreover, similar prof was discovered in Brazil and Argentina too.
Image source: pixabay