The mystique regarding certain absent tropical dinosaurs has been finally deconstructed. Now we know thanks to conclusive evidence what we did not know before.
For eons the world’s largest dinosaurs didn’t venture into tropical areas. The real cause behind this avoidance of hot and humid regions of heavy rainfall was something that remained a conundrum that is until now.
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During the middle of the Triassic Era, which was more than 200 million years ago, the dinosaurs with lengthy necks (sauropodomorphs) were spread throughout the northern and southern regions. But the tropics were clear of any signs of these huge beasts. Only during the Jurassic Era did these gentle giants start venturing towards the median zone.
Why exactly did the lumbersome reptiles take so long to enter the lush vegetation of tropical tropes. Well, the climate may have been one factor. That’s for sure. The voluminous levels of carbon dioxide could have contributed to a suffocating atmosphere that was exasperating to live or breathe in.
"It was not a happy place for them to be hanging out," said Nathan Smith, the new curator of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County's Dinosaur Institute.
According to experts, it was not the ideal environment for dinosaurs to thrive in. They may have had a lot of difficulty adjusting and acclimatizing to the new conditions which were hostile in every way.
The equatorial regions have been mapped as they appeared way back then in prehistoric times. Analysts have done research on the pollination and cross fertilization in the plants that grew in that time and place.
Charcoal has been found and fossils of bones lend clues as to how stuff worked eons ago. The Triassic period was such that there was a sort of ping pong going on between extreme humidity and abundant rainfall and extreme dryness and desert-like conditions.
Like it was previously mentioned, the carbon dioxide levels were pretty high and vegetation often caught fire and so atmospheric conditions got radically altered.
The evidence suggests that carnivorous dinosaurs and crocodilian types inhabited the terrain. And while reptiles did not face any problems since they required little in the way of food, bigger dinosaurs did have issues with the environment.
Maybe the crocodilians were finished off by waves of massive extinction and so the bigger and gentler giants moved into the tropical regions and took over the habitat from them. It is indeed a moot point why these selfsame dinosaurs entered tropical loci later on instead of in their heyday. The future probably holds the answer to this further query.
The study published on Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.