An extinction event helped the dinosaurs to thrive. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.5 Gerhard Boeggemann
A new study has revealed that a devastating event may have been responsible for the dinosaurs' dominance.
The extinction of the dinosaurs during a mass extinction event at the end of the Cretaceous has been common knowledge for years, but what is not quite so well understand is the series of events that brought about their dominance of our planet in the first place.
Now in a new paper, scientists have outlined how the key expansion of the dinosaurs may have been triggered by a mass extinction event that devastated life on Earth around 232 million years ago.
Known as the Carnian Pluvial Episode, the event saw massive volcanic eruptions bring about prolonged periods of global warming while deadly acid rain fell from the ash-choked skies.
When the dust finally settled, the way was clear for the dinosaurs to dominate the Earth.
"The discovery of the existence of a link between the first diversification of dinosaurs and a global mass extinction is important," said Professor Mike Benton from the University of Bristol.
"The extinction didn't just clear the way for the age of the dinosaurs, but also for the origins of many modern groups, including lizards, crocodiles, turtles, and mammals - key land animals today."
Source: Phys.org | Comments (19)