223 million years ago! New mass extinction event discovered! Led to dinosaurs!

Most everybody knows that the dinosaurs perished rapidly in a tumultuous extinction, caused by an asteroid strike about 66 million years ago. But it looks like another extinction prior to the appearance of the dinosaurs paved the way for their long reign. That extinction took place about 233 million years ago.

And scientists have only now discovered it.

The extinction took place during what’s called the Carnian Pluvial Episode (CPE). Researchers have examined this period of time before, because they knew the climate changed abruptly then. The climate change was likely caused by copious volcanic activity that created Large Igneous Provinces (LIP). But now a team of researchers have conducted a thorough review of geologic and paleontological evidence from that time and have concluded that a mass extinction took place.