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Wanna Survive the Apocalypse? Duck n' Cover!

  • #1
    Registered Users Posts: 30,747 Galvasean

    One of the great mysteries of the Permian extinction (Find out more here) which wiped out some 90% of all life on Earth some 250 million years ago is why the humbe pig sized lystrosaurs survived when practically everything else perished. ONe idea gaining favour is taht they simply lived in burrows and hibernated through the worst of it.
    Roger Smith of the Iziko South African Museum in Capetown and Jennifer Botha of the South African National Museum believe[sic] that the pig-sized animal Lystrosaurus curvatus and several other species weathered the apocalypse by simply hiding underground. During the worst of the heat and dry season, they may have hibernated, and fossil skeletons show that multiple species sometimes shared the same burrow.

    Smith presented the discovery at the Society for Vertebrate Paleontology annual meeting in Bristol, United Kingdom last week.

    In some ways, the discovery helps explain why the humble, plodding Lystrosaurus overran Pangea after the extinction. Their fossils have also been found in Antarctica, Russia, China, and India

    Not all experts are convinced though. Robert Reisz of the University of Toronto does not believe that burrowing was all that advantageous, citing the proto-mammal Diictodon who also burrowed, but did not survive the extinction.

    Full article here.