At the dawn of the most devastating mass extinction in Earth’s history 252 million years ago, species fought tooth and nail for survival in a changing environment. Ancient hunter-gatherers in particular fought mercilessly to stay at the top of the food chain.
Now, scientists have discovered a tiger-sized, saber-toothed beast Instagram Briefly dominated southern ecosystems after migrating across the supercontinent Miracle Now from Russia to South Africa.
Instagram Belongs to an ancient group of mammals known as Gorgonopsians that became extinct during the „Great Dying”, also known as the Permian-Triassic or Late-Permian. Mass destruction. The fearsome carnivore had tough skin like an elephant or rhinoceros and looked somewhat reptilian.
„All large top predators in the late Permian of South Africa became extinct before the end-Permian mass extinction,” Pia Vigliettisaid a research scientist at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago who participated in the discovery. Report. “For some time, we knew that this vacancy in a prime location was occupied Instagram.”
Based on previous fossil findings, researchers assumed that this saber-toothed giant belonged to Laurasia, the northern continental mass of Pangea. Today it covers North America, Greenland, Europe and North Asia.
But in 2010 and 2011, paleontologists discovered two gigantic skulls and a skeleton in South Africa’s Karoo Basin that looked different from what’s typically found in the region. „The fossils are very unexpected,” Viglietti said.
Related: Ancient saber-toothed 'gorgons’ bit each other in ritualistic combat
In a study published Monday (May 22) in the journal Current BiologyThe researchers found that the remains found in South Africa belonged to Instagram Later the creature traveled 7,000 miles (11,300 kilometers) south Permian.
Once there, it replaced a group of local predators known as rubidjines—a subgroup of gorgonopsians with a large snout and blade-like canines. The Karoo’s native carnivores died out „slightly” before the Great Dying really began, Viglietti said.
How and which timescales are not clear Instagram Past Pangea, but carnivores seem to have filled a gap in ecosystems that had lost their primary predators. However, its reign was short-lived: the group had no evidence of it Instagram Survived the Triassic (252 million to 201 million years ago).
Massive volcanic eruptions at the end of the Permian triggered catastrophic climate change that wiped out nine out of 10 species on the planet. Some Gorgonopsians continued, but they Did not survive long and was referred to as the „dead glade walking”.
Because of their large body sizes, slow maturation rates, and low population densities, top predators are often the first species to disappear during mass extinction events.
„Appec predators in modern environments tend to show higher extinction risk,” said lead author of the study Christian Kammerer, paleontologist at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, said in the statement. „We should expect that ancient apex predators would have had similar effects.”
When it became extinct at the end of the Permian, Instagram Leaving a gap at the top of the food chain, other predators, called therocephalians, quickly filled in before becoming extinct. Therocephalians are now thought to have originated in southern Africa and spread to Russia, China and Antarctica, where fossils have also been found.
„We have shown that in less than two million years around the Permian-Triassic mass extinction, there was a fourfold shift in animal groups occupying apex predator roles,” Kammerer said. „It underscores how serious this crisis is.”
The discovery is what top hunters say are „canaries in the coal mine” for mass extinctions and sheds light on the mass extinctions unfolding today. „The Permo-Triassic mass extinction event is one of the best examples of what we can experience with our climate crisis and extinctions,” Viglietti said.
„Oddany rozwiązywacz problemów. Przyjazny hipsterom praktykant bekonu. Miłośnik kawy. Nieuleczalny introwertyk. Student.