Can you imagine a cat-sized dinosaur? The answer is most likely a ‘no’. When someone says dinosaurs, all we can imagine is a scary creature the size of a building eyeing for round two of its brunch. Movies haven’t helped change this perception.
Dinosaurs ruled the pre-historic world but their beginnings were very humble. They were literally the size of a cat. But they gradually grew in size and reached scary proportions within 2 million years. And a super long rainy spell in this period helped.
And what caused this rain? Scientists say continued volcanic activity.
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Researchers who carried out the study have published their findings in journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The scientists studied sediments at the bottom of an ancient lake crater in China (Jiyuan basin) and concluded that between 234 and 232 million years ago, earth experienced what are called ‘pulses’ of volcanic activity. This increased amount of carbon dioxide in the air. This increased temperature and intensified hydrologic cycle.
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This resulted in long spell of rain and made the atmosphere humid. This environment created favourable conditions for large amphibians and reptiles (dinosaurs) to thrive and for the latter, increase in size immensely.