Scientists say a massive catastrophe 233 million years ago reshaped life on Earth, allowing dinosaurs to take over.
Named the Corneal Fluid Episode, the event is said to have been caused by a sudden change in the weather.
A team of 17 scientists reviewed geological and archaeological evidence and found massive volcanic eruptions in the west Canada Mostly due to the event.
These eruptions poured large volcanic basalt rocks and now form the west coast of North America.
Climate warming was associated with an increase in rainfall at that time – it was first identified by geologists in the 1980s as a humid episode lasting a million years.
Although large parts of life at sea and on land have been destroyed, this phenomenon has allowed dinosaurs to take over the planet – they existed 20 million years ago, but they are rare and insignificant.
The researchers said that this phenomenon led to modern ecosystems with coniferous forests, and that some of the first mammals – turtles, crocodiles and lizards – appeared and diversified during this time.
Jakobo Dal Corso, Professor, University of Earth Sciences, China Wuhan, He said: “The explosions were huge, they pumped a lot of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide, and there were spikes of global warming.”
He explained that five significant mass extinctions have been identified so far in the history of more than 500 million years, all of which “have had a profound impact on the evolution and life of the Earth.”
He added: “We have identified another major catastrophic event, and it has played an important role in helping to restore life on land and at sea, marking the emergence of modern ecosystems.”
Researchers have suggested that the Corneal eruption may have affected marine life, with the advent of modern-day coral reefs and many of Plankton’s modern groups.