Climate change wiped out dinosaurs ‘not once, but twice’

Alvarezsaur dinosaurs Shrank in Size after ant-based diet, reveals study

We all know that a huge asteroid crashed into Earth some 66 million years ago, wiping out the land-dwelling dinosaurs. Also, some of them got killed by the plunge in global temperature, which was caused due to a blanket of heat-shielding debris in the atmosphere.

But many of us are not aware about another climate change cataclysm over 100 million years ago wiped out a different set of dinosaur species in which many went extinct.

An evidence of this event, which took place 179 million years ago in plant fossils in Argentine Patagonia, has been found by scientists.

Also, the scientists have discovered a dinosaur species, Bagualia alba, which was previously unknown. This species belongs to the family of long-necked sauropods, the largest animals ever existed on Earth.

Sauropods were only one branch of the Sauropodomorpha lineage before the global warming event.

A study published on Wednesday in the Royal Society says that other dinosaurs which belonged to the same group were smaller and lighter, with some even smaller than a goat.

Over several million years, huge amounts of CO2 and methane were released in the atmosphere due to a series of volcanic eruptions which warmed the planet and transformed the vegetation dinosaurs fed on.

The climate changed from being warm, humid, temperate with a diverse lush vegetation to strongly seasonal and hot-and-dry one.

Smaller Sauropodomorpha dinosaurs could not tackle the change, while larger saurapods like the Bagualia alba managed to thrive.

“Sauropods are massive, four-legged animals with long necks,” which meant they could reach the tops of trees, palaeontologist and lead author Diego Pol told AFP.

“Their very robust mandibles and spoon-shaped teeth were adapted to feed on all kinds of plants such as conifer trees.”