After the Devonian, some recognizable sauropsids developed along with a new group, the synapsids (likely precursors to mammals). Then with the Permian-Triassic Extinction 250 million years ago, 96% of all species disappeared in the "Great Dying" of Earth's history......even our friend the dimetrodon. Volcanic activity seems to have led to bacteria getting a boost in methane production, resulting in a toxic environment. No other extinction resulted in so great a species loss.
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Monday, June 28, 2021
Time to Go (Part 3)
Some Permian creatures, sauropsids on the left, synapsids on the right.
All life had to rebound and diversify from the remaining 4%, and did...as life always does, leading to the development of mammals in the Triassic/Jurassic. In fact, mammals actually outnumbered archosaurs, and oddly, instead of "inheriting the Earth" as the new chosen species, volcanic activity caused mammals to die off in greater number in the Triassic/Jurassic Extinction which occurred about 200 million years ago than their reptilian counterparts.
Crocodillian: "Hey ladies, wanna come play in my dungeon?"
Lead archosaur: "Just keep walking, girls. Ignore him."
Last archosaur: "Ummmm, but that sounds like fun."
That extinction then enabled dinosaurs to develop and rule the Earth for the next 135 million years, setting the stage for tremendous film and merchandising opportunities once humans came on the scene.............(but that was still a ways off.) Life was like a blissful Jurassic Park with everybody happily killing and eating everybody else, except it was no longer the Jurassic Period (Hollywood morons) and there were no humans around in safari suits to fuck things up. Everybody went about their business of grazing, or hunting, or mating......right up until a big asteroid landed around the Gulf of Mexico, leading to the wipe-out of 76% of the known species. This was the famous Cretaceous/Paleogene Extinction of 65 million years ago.
Small dinosaur: "Dominant species, my ass! When I get you home, you're getting one heckuva tail whipping! Embarrassing me like that in front of the Triceratops. Hrumph!"
And that brings us to the Holocene Period which we are in now, the one with people in it. In our last segment we will look at "us" in the context of what the past has taught us and examine....or re-examine.....the significance of our role, our relative importance, and what it means to be the critter who developed the ability to make sugary breakfast cereals and I-Phones.