2 Million Years of Rain Sparked the Dinosaur's Reign
Scientists say a cataclysmic mass extinction event helped the dinosaurs to rise to dominance.
WUHAN, CHINA — Scientists say they have evidence that points to a cataclysmic mass extinction event that helped the dinosaurs to rise to dominance.
The theory states that the Carnian Pluvial extinction event was triggered by a massive volcanic eruption that lasted 5 million years.
This is called the Wrangellian Eruption, which happened around 234 million years ago in an area that is now western Canada.
This 5-million-year-long eruption piled lava up to 6 kilometers high and caused the Earth's atmosphere to become 3 to 10 degrees warmer.
Eventually, this global warming heated the oceans — and the ocean water evaporated much faster, causing 2 million years of incessant rain across the planet.
Scientists call this 2 million years of rain the Carnian Pluvial Event. They say this over-abundance of rain turned the Earth from a dry shrubland into a wet hothouse filled with rain forests.
The extreme humidity and different plants of these rain forests caused serious challenges for the animals that dominated the Ladinian period.
For reasons still unknown, this wet world killed off most of the dominant Ladinian-period animals and plants, but led to a sudden abundance of early dinosaur types.
Eventually, the eruptions stopped, the rain stopped, and the earth became much drier again. Leaving a world filled with dinosaurs and vegetation that suited them.
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