Tawa, Postosuchus and Late Triassic Wildfires
New Mexico - Chinle Formation, Late Triassic Period
Recent research shows that the Late Triassic tropics (including modern day New Mexico) experienced frequent wildfires and fluctuating climate extremes, which may have prevented large-bodied herbivorous dinosaurs from dominating and diversifying in the low latitudes. Small theropod dinosaurs like Tawa (pictured here, lower right) existed alongside other types of archosaurs such as the large, carnivorous Postosuchus (pictured here, upper left) in the Triassic tropics, but dinosaurs were relatively rare and less diverse at low latitudes until the more stable climate of the Jurassic Period, 15 million years after relatively large dinosaurs were fairly common in the higher latitudes.
I made this illustration for Earth Archives. Follow Earth Archives here on Tumblr!
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