In our world there are about 8.7 million species (6.5 million on land and 2.2 million in oceans), so who or what had might created such a wonderful diversity clearly has a tremendous love for life. But the kind of apocalyptic scenario needed to obliterate so many species is easy to guess: a nuclear warfare, the collision with a huge asteroid, volcanoes outbursting huge amounts of lava, and others.
While we can exclude the first scenario of a nuclear warfare, the rest of the possibilities remain in the case of mass extinction that occurred millions of years ago. But maybe we should look even further.
The Manicouagan Impact enters the scene
Scientists now believe that the Manicouagan Impact is the culprit for the extinction of ancient Late Triassic vertebrates that happened about 215 million years ago. The event is also known as the Adamanian/Revueltian turnover. Vertebrates from that period were very diverse, as they included early dinosaurs, armored aetosaurs, large crocodile-like amphibians, and other land vertebrates.
The Manicouagan Impact is an asteroid impact that happened in Quebec 215.5 million years ago, leaving a 750-square-mile lake.
Previously, scientists thought that the cause of the mass extinction was an asteroid or climate change. The new discovery was made by a team of scientists from the University of Rhode Island. Their research was based on work carried out in sediments 227 to 205 million years old belonging to the Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona.
David Fastovsky, the URI professor of geosciences, declared:
Previous hypotheses seemed very nebulous, because nobody had ever approached this problem – or any ancient mass extinction problem – in the quantitative way that we did,
In the end, we concluded that neither the asteroid impact nor the climate change had anything to do with the extinction, and that the extinction was certainly not as it had been described – abrupt and synchronous. In fact, it was diachronous and drawn-out.
The study was published in the journal Geology.