Lead author Dr Massimo Bernardi, Curator at MUSE and Research associate at Bristol’s School of Earth Sciences, said: “We were excited to see that the footprints and skeletons told the same story. We had been studying the footprints in the Dolomites for some time, and it’s amazing how clear cut the change from ‘no dinosaurs’ to ‘all dinosaurs’ was.”
The point of explosion of dinosaurs matches the end of the Carnian Pluvial Episode, a time when climates shuttled from dry to humid and back to dry again.
It was long suspected that this event had caused upheavals among life on land and in the sea, but the details were not clear. Then, in 2015, dating of rock sections and measurement of oxygen and carbon values showed just what had happened.
There were massive eruptions in western Canada, represented today by the great Wrangellia basalts — these drove bursts of global warming, acid rain, and killing on land and in the oceans.
“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.” Paper. (open access) – Massimo Bernardi, Piero Gianolla, Fabio Massimo Petti, Paolo Mietto, Michael J. Benton. Dinosaur diversification linked with the Carnian Pluvial Episode. Nature Communications, 2018; 9 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-03996-1 More.
A friend notes, The paper in Nature Communications refers to an “explosion” of dinosaur diversity, noting “dinosaurs diversified explosively” in the Carnian Pluvial Episode (CPE) in the mid-Triassic (234-232). They term it the “dinosaur diversification event” (DDE).
Funny how these bangs of organization rather than destruction seem to appear so often from nowhere.
See also: But should we be talking about a “Big Bang” of birds?
Not a Big Bang of turtles TOO?