According to a study, climate change sparked a reptile burgeoning millions of years ago

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According to a study, climate change sparked a reptile burgeoning millions of years ago

According to recent research, climate change, not the catastrophic extinction of other species, set off the age of the dinosaurs more than 250 million years ago.

Long believed to have occurred about 261 and 252 million years ago, the increase in reptile variety at the conclusion of the Permian and the beginning of the Triassic epoch has now been disproved.

The evolution of reptiles and their expansion in population had previously been attributed by scientists to the extinction of their rivals. However, a recent study suggests that the increase in reptile diversity and number was caused by global warming rather than a mass extinction.

Reptile evolution began far earlier than previously believed, according to researchers from Harvard University’s Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology and Museum of Comparative Zoology. The group looked at the primitive amniotes, who are the ancestors of all living mammals today, including birds, reptiles, and their closest extinct cousins. By collecting over 1,000 fossil samples from 125 species of synapsid reptiles and their close relatives during a period of around 140 million years prior to the Permian-Triassic mass extinction, they were able to generate a dataset. After that, they examined the information to try to determine where these species came from and how quickly they evolved.

The new dataset was then contrasted with information on global temperature from the geological record that dates back millions of years. Researchers found a correlation between rapid anatomical change in most reptiles during times of rapid climatic swings and global warming as they responded to the shifting environmental conditions.

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The team also observed how the reptiles’ body sizes changed over this time. They observed that there was a maximum body size for reptiles that could survive in the tropical regions during the hot time due to the extremely high climatic pressure on the body.

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