The Permian extinction and rise of the dinosaurs
The colonization of the land surface was followed by a dramatic increase in faunal and plant diversity. The development of progressively more sophisticated and larger plants eventually led to organic deposition that turned into enormous coal deposits. Land vertebrates evolved into a complex array of amphibians, reptiles and even primitive proto-mammals. This process occurred on the several isolated land masses scattered around the world’s ocean. For reasons still being debated this “era of plenty” came to a catastrophic end at the close of the Permian Period about 225 million years ago, with the largest extinction event known to geology. The animal survivors of this event proliferated to give us the age of the dinosaurs, with diminutive early mammals largely hiding out in the underbrush.
KeywordsLand plants Land vertebrates Coal Carboniferous Reptiles Tetrapods Siberian traps Climate change
- When Life Nearly Died: The Greatest Mass Extinction of all Time, Michael J. Benton, 2005, Thames and Hudson.Google Scholar