October 16, 2021

Volcanic eruptions helped dinosaurs dominate Earth

The relationship between dinosaurs and volcanoes has historically not always appeared so amiable.

For decades, scientists argued over whether volcanoes or an asteroid caused dinosaurs’ abrupt extinction 65 million years ago. It wasn’t until 2010 that an international panel of experts formally declared that it was the space rock, and not giant eruptions, that was the primary cause of dino demise.

And now a team of researchers is presenting the most compelling evidence yet that massive volcanic events probably helped the dinosaurs take over the planet, at least in another era. Their results were published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The Triassic Period, which began roughly 250 million years ago, was a time of massive ecological change after the largest mass extinction event on record. While dinosaurs had emerged in this time period, they were…

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