Volcanoes Signaled the End for Dinosaurs
A study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) has concluded that a mass extinction event allowed for the rise of the dinosaurs. At the end of the Triassic period, approximately 200 million years ago, a period of 'pulsed volcanism' radically changed the climate of Earth, leading to the eradication of many species. The vacant ecological niches led to the rise of the dinosaurs. The study relied on measuring the concentration of mercury levels in rocks from 4 different continents; mercury is released when volcanoes erupt, reaching high into the atmosphere and settling globally.