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Land

  • Mar 04 / 2015
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Land

BIG Country – Saurians conquer the World

Dinosaurs left the oceans in search of new food resources. This triggered the adaption to terrestrial life-style. But maybe this was not the only driving force?

2_6_4_ChirotheriumMany previous amphibians lived at least partially on land as their powerful legs, the stable spine and their scales betrayed. However, they had their soft eggs still put in the water, because those would otherwise be dry. Even small larvae hatched from it even with gills, which had to remain in the water up to her transformation, called metamorphosis.

The emergence of hard-shelled eggs from at least 300 million years ago was an outstanding milestone in the evolution of the “dinosaurs”, these were now all the large open tracts of land that could never settle amphibians because of their loyalty to the water. As reptiles, they conquered the world since the early Permian. Particularly successful were the early ancestors of mammals, which included, for example, the sail-carrying Dimetrodon and the once native to Central Europe Pantelosaurus.

In those early rulers of dry land were also the first purely vegetarian living land vertebrates, such as the sail is also supporting Edaphosaurus. But before about 275 million years ago was a new group from these early “dinosaurs” show, which was the mammals something similar – that of the therapsids. To date, more than 1,000 fossil species are known. You could run faster through their legs standing closer to the body and carry more weight. In this group there are meat and herbivores in many sizes to animals from five meters in length and more than two tons. However, there were also many smaller animals, the preferred underground burrows docked.

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