A team of international scientists from the Nanjing Institute of Geology and Paleontology (NIGPAS), the University of Southampton, the Smithsonian Institution and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute questioned the thermophilicity of dinosaurs and proved that they were able to survive the cold. The findings of the work are published in the journal Science Advances.
During the study, experts studied dinosaur footprints on rock fragments in the Junggar Basin in northwest China, which were formed by ice. Before the well-known mass extinction of dinosaurs associated with a meteorite hitting the Earth and the subsequent global winter, there was another one, the Triassic-Jurassic extinction, which occurred 202 million years ago. As a result, a large number of large reptiles died, which cleared the way for other dinosaurs.
It was the Triassic dinosaurs that calmly survived extreme cold conditions and, moreover, mainly lived in the polar zones. The reptiles, accustomed to living in the cold climate at the poles, could then spread to the main parts of the continent, where, over time, it also became cold enough for large dinosaurs.
In June, it became known that the remains of a new species of spinosaurs, which were the largest representatives of ancient reptiles, were found at the Vectis Formation prehistoric dinosaur cemetery on the Isle of Wight.