discovery of fossils of a species that survived a mass extinction 251 million years ago

Eleven years ago, paleontologists discovered fossils of various groups of lystrosaurs in South Africa, 250 million years after their extinction.

You may not know this, but Lystrosaurus was a genus of reptile belonging to the order Therapsids, also known as mammalian reptiles.

This amazing creature lived on Earth between 259 and 247 million years ago. It is one of the few species that survived the Permian-Triassic mass extinction. This biological crisis decimated more than 70% of land vertebrates and 96% of marine animals about 252 million years ago.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

An important discovery

Eleven years ago, paleontologists discovered two extremely well-preserved Lystrosaurus fossils in the southern Karoo Basin (South Africa). Details of the study, published in a Specialized magazinethey suggest that these specimens survived extinction before going extinct due to climate change.

During the excavation, scientists also discovered 170 tetrapod fossils in the area. For their part, the two lystrosaurs found lived at the beginning of the Triassic, about 251 million years ago.

Photo Credit: Roger Smith

According to specialists, the latter succumbed to the heat and drought caused by climate change. as the magazine says science stationskin impressions found in the rock reveal that the two specimens “dried up and mummified” after death.

As we see today with global warming, it seems that warming increases the probability of extreme eventssaid Pia Viglietti of the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. “This is perhaps what happened in the early Triassic.“.

Photo Credit: Roger Smith

The study authors also explain that these species may have searched for water and food together before taking refuge and losing their lives.

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