An international team of researchers has discovered a significant extinction of life 233 million years ago, dubbed the Carnian Pluvial Episode. The team believes that the event triggered the dinosaur takeover of the world.
For the recent discovery, the team, led by Mike Benton of the University of Bristol’s School of Earth Sciences and Jacopo Dal Corso of the China University of Geosciences at Wuhan, needed to review all the palaeontological and geological evidence. Here is what you need to know.
New Mass Extinction Examined
Recently discovered mass extinction, called now the Carnian Pluvial Episode, intrigues researchers. According to the team, the cause was most likely the massive volcanic eruptions in the Wrangellia Province of western Canada. The volumes of volcanic basalt were so big that they poured out and formed much of North America’s west coast.
“[…] the climate change caused major biodiversity loss in the ocean and on land, but just after the extinction event, new groups took over forming more modern-like ecosystems,” explained Jacopo Del Corso.
And it wasn’t just dinosaurs that appeared after the Carnian Pluvial Episode. Many modern groups of animals and plants also appeared, including some of the first crocodiles, lizards, turtles, and the first mammals.
The event had also influenced ocean life, witnessing the beginning of modern-style coral reef and many modern groups of plankton, indicating significant changes in the carbonate cycle and ocean chemistry. So far, the paleontologists had found five mass extinctions in the last 500 million years. Each event had a vast effect on the evolution of our planet and life.
The recent great extinction event discovered it had an essential role in making the origins of modern ecosystems and resetting life on land and oceans. Researchers, however, are intrigued about the conditions that “gave dinosaurs their chance.” It is truly a huge and significant discover.
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