Can We Avoid A Mass Extinction like the Dinosaurs went through?
250 million years ago, 90% of the plants and animals on earth were
completely wiped out. It has been debated how long it took the earth to
recover from the wipeout. But new evidence points to the fact that it
took 10 million years.
According to China University of Geociences’ Dr. Zhong-Qiang Chen and
University of Bristol’s Michael Benton, the bounce-back was delayed by
the intensity of the destruction and the continuing poor conditions
after the event. The reasons for the crisis were a combination of global
warming, acid rain, ocean acidification and ocean anoxia.
For five to six million years after the crisis, conditions on earth
were pretty bad, off and on—with some of the same types of issues that
ruined most of life on earth. Some animals were able to recover even
through the poor conditions, but permanent ecosystems took much longer
The first systems that recovered included crabs and lobsters, along
with other marine reptiles. It is pretty amazing that millions of years
later, re-setting evolution. But it is pretty frightening that the
reasons why life was wiped out before are starting to sound familiar
these days. Hopefully, with more knowledge of this old crisis, we will
be able to prevent a new one.
Photo Credit: All rights reserved by brandmatt (via flickr)
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