The Triassic period is a division of earth’s history spanning from around 252 to 201 million years ago, and during which global faunas were radically reorganised in the wake of the Permian mass extinction. The climate of the Triassic was typically arid and hot. During this period, the supercontinent of Pangaea began to gradually break apart, opening the Tethys Ocean. Recovery from the Permian mass extinction lasted up to 10 million years. In the oceans, surviving invertebrates including corals, cephalopods (such as ammonites) and echinoderms began to diversify. Marine reptiles became abundant and reached colossal sizes by the end of the Triassic. On land, archosaurs, a group of reptiles including crocodilians and dinosaurs, began to flourish. Mammal-like reptiles, on the other hand, became smaller and less diverse. The end Triassic is also characterised by a mass extinction event. Around 76% of all species, including the conodonts (a successful group of jawless fish), many archosaurs (with the notable exception of dinosaurs) and large amphibians were wiped out.
Published on December 1st, 2013 | by Dave Marshall
What are Mass extinctions, how are they quantified, what are the driving forces behind them, how bad were the ones in the past and will we have more in the future? To answer these questions we ... Read More →