How a cold climate ushered in the reign of the dinosaurs

Image Credit:smithsonianmagazine

The dinosaur extinction myth is one that we have all heard.

But how did a significant extinction event that occurred tens of millions of years ago assist in their ascent to the top of the biological food chain?

Polar dinosaurs

Image Credit:theconversation

Dinosaurs are thought to have first evolved in southern latitudes about 231 million years ago.

At this period, Pangea, a massive supercontinent, covered the whole surface of the planet.

Sweater weather

When you live in the warm Triassic environment, insulation is not necessary. 

To survive the gloomy winters, dinosaurs at the poles needed some form of insulation.

Ushering in a new era

The once-dominant pseudosuchians died out, and the dinosaurs suddenly became the big kids on the block thanks to their proto-plumage and ability to resist the cold.

As a series of volcanic winters that could have lasted for hundreds of years developed, they were able to establish ecological dominance.

As a result, the dinosaurs were in a position to govern the planet until a second great extinction about 135 million years later wiped them out.

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