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A previously unknown mass extinction gave rise to dinosaurs, scientists say

September 16, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

It took place 233 million years ago and was likely caused by massive volcanic eruptions in what is now western Canada.

Now, scientists say they have identified evidence of a new mass extinction event in the fossil record, and it's one that allowed dinosaurs to dominate the Earth for more than 200 million years.

"So far, palaeontologists had identified five 'big' mass extinctions in the past 500 million years of the history of life," said study co-author Jacopo Dal Corso, a geologist at China University of Geosciences at Wuhan, in a news statement.

"We now know that dinosaurs originated some 20 million years before this event, but they remained quite rare and unimportant until the Carnian Pluvial Episode hit," Benton said.

The worst mass extinction event happened 250 million years ago, wiping out 95% of all species and was likely because of massive volcanic eruptions in Siberia.

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