A new research provides the first tangible proof that Triassic dinos were exposed to cold temperatures on a frequent basis.
Mainstream wisdom is that Earth was hit by a meteorite 66 million years ago, causing an immediate global cooling and the extinction of the dinosaurs that lived at the time. While it’s widely accepted that the dinosaurs took over the world about 202 million years back, there was an earlier and more mysterious extinction that had a considerably greater impact.
The ice-deposited rock shards and dinosaur tracks are the most obvious clues. There was a widespread deep freeze at lower elevations throughout the event, knocking out cold-blooded reptilian species. In spite of the evolutionary barrier, dinosaurs were able to spread around the world.
Small-grained sandstone as well as siltstone deposits in the Junggar Basin, left by sedimentation on ancient lake basins, are the scientists’ proof. At some point in the latter Triassic period, 206 million years back and beyond, sediments began to accumulate. The deposits in the lakes, on the other hand, included several stones up to 1.5 cm in diameter, which scientists discovered. They could only have been ice-rafted material, which is the only answer.
In the wintertime, when lake fluids freeze near pebbly coastlines, according to the authors, the stones were probably scooped up by the lake. Specimens of the pebbles were subsequently dropped by pieces of that ice that drifted away as the weather warmed up.
This demonstrates that the dinos were able to survive in these regions despite the fact that they were often covered in ice. This new study demonstrates that the higher elevations of the dinosaurs’ habitat would’ve been frigid and possibly coated in ice at certain times of the year. As a result, whereas many Triassic rivals died out, dinosaurs residing at upper latitudes had already developed their own winter coverings.