Erakina

EARLY TRIASSIC CLIMATE – Erakina

Published Date : February 3, 2022

HOW THE WORLD USED TO BE FORMERLY?-ERAKINA  

Life is estimated to have existed for about billions of years ago. Let’s unbox some facts about how different the world was years ago than the modern world. 

What is Early Triassic?

The Triassic Period of the Geologic Timescale(the calendar for events in earth’s history) included this Early Triassic which is the first of three Epochs(a particular period of time in history). It lasts between 251.902 MA and 247.2 MA (million years ago). This Early Triassic is considered as the oldest epoch of the Mesozoic Era(the era in which dinosaurs, first birds, mammals, and flowering plants appear).

The evolution of Triassic dinosaurs marked the beginning of the Triassic Period in the Earth’s history.  The period was later followed by the Jurassic period and Cretacious period. The triassic period was first introduced by German Geologist Friedrich August von Alberti. It is said to be the Triassic period because this period of geologic time is represented by a rock type which was in three-part division. The three different rock layers are called The Bunter(which is a red bead and brown sandstone), The Muschelkalk and The Keuper(from bottom to outermost).

Beginning of Triassic Period   

The era began 250  million years ago and ended 251 million years ago. The Triassic Era was followed by the Permian period. In this time, there were different varieties of animals which lived and evolved. A group of animals named as Synapsids were also among them which later evolved into mammals, one member of this group was dimetrodon, it was a large, sail-backed animal which kind of looked like a dinosaur but was not. The mammals evolved from the extinct therapsids near the end of Triassic period are considered as the first mammals. These mammals were small, nearly few inches and were herbivores and insectivores. 

Dimetrodon

A member of Synapsid. 

The Permian-Triassic extinction event, the largest extinction our planet ever experienced, which occurred 250 million years ago. Approximately 70% species on the land and 95% species of the ocean disappeared during this period. It was not just the end of the Permian period or the beginning of the Triassic period, it was a significant catastrophe(a disaster) which is used to mark the end of a geologic era, the Peliozoic era.

Animals of Triassic Period

Scientists estimated that some of the mammals evolved from a group of mammals that were extinct such as Reptiles, Theriodontia which were Therapsids. These mammals were smaller in size and were nocturnal(active at night). Proganochelys, the earliest known turtle, also appeared in the Late Triassic. 

Animals like turtles, frogs, salamanders, lizards and pterosaurs first appeared during the Triassic and in the Triassic itself the insects evolved to undergo complete metamorphosis from larva through pupa to adult. 

Marine Organisms

The Permian extinction was so impactful that it massively depopulated the ocean and around 95% of oceanic life disappeared because of the high carbon dioxide level. Few of them might have survived as the fossil fish from the Triassic period are very invariable. In the middle of the triassic period ichthyosaurs were dominant in the ocean. Plesiosaurs were also present in the Triassic period but they were smaller as compared to those present in the Jurassic period. 

Plants of Triassic Period

The plant family such as giant club mosses and horsetail went extinct during the Permian extinction; their new forms evolved during Triassic. Conifers and Cycadophytes appeared majorly in the Triassic. 

Glossopteris(seed ferns) and early species of gymnosperms dominated the early Triassic land. Triassic was full with cycads, cycadeoids and bannetitelians. Liverworts, mosses, smaller horsetails, club moose, tree ferns, ferns ginkgophytes, filicinophytes, araucaria, Bjuvia, yews and lycopsids were dominant in the northern latitude in the Triassic Period. Plants such as peltsperms, corystosperms, wieland ella and sanmiguelia were the late Triassic plants.

Conifers

Modern Day Conifers similar to those in Triassic Period.

cycads

 Modern Days Cycads similar to those in the Triassic period.  

Climate in the Triassic Period

The climate in the Triassic period was much hotter as compared to today. The atmosphere was abundant with carbon dioxide which led to a strong greenhouse effect resulting in heat directed back towards earth. The period was becoming a little cooler when it came to an end. 30 degree C/ 80 degree F was the average global temperature at the beginning of the Triassic Period. 

The Pnathelessic ocean was unrestrained by the land throughout most of its area resulting in the strong current from the equator being able to travel freely to the poles. This subsequently caused the earth’s polar region to be warm during the summer and only slightly below freezing during the winter. Forest grown at the north and south poles and the polar climate was too warm restricting the ice caps to form. 

The interior of Pangea came in contact with very little humidity from the ocean. Resulted in a dry, scorching hot central desert region suffering from little or no rainfall.  

The edges of supercontinents were marginally cooler, with high humidity. 

 By-Viadehee Bhawsar

05/01/2022  

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