Extinction and dawn of the modern world in the Carnian (Late Triassic)

Jacopo dal Corso*, Massimo Bernardi, Yadong Sun, Leyla J. Seyfullah, Nereo Preto, Piero Gianolla, Evelyn Kustatscher, Guido Roghi, Alastair Ruffell, Sönke Hohn, Alexander R. Schmidt, Robert Newton, Paul Wignall, Michael Benton

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

125 Citations (Scopus)
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The Carnian Pluvial Episode (Late Triassic) was a time of global environmental changes and possibly substantial coeval volcanism. The extent of the biological turnover in marine and terrestrial ecosystems is not well understood. Here, we present a meta-analysis of fossil data that suggests a substantial reduction in generic and species richness and the disappearance of 33% of marine genera. This crisis triggered major radiations. In the sea, the rise of the first scleractinian reefs and rock-forming calcareous nannofossils points to substantial changes in ocean chemistry. On land, there were major diversifications and originations of conifers, insects, dinosaurs, crocodiles, lizards, turtles, and mammals. Although there is uncertainty on the precise age of some of the recorded biological changes, these observations indicate that the Carnian Pluvial Episode was linked to a major extinction event and might have been the trigger of the spectacular radiation of many key groups that dominate modern ecosystems.
Original languageEnglish
Article number eaba0099
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalScience Advances
Publication statusPublished - 16 Sept 2020


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