Triassic period ended with ‘lost’ mass extinction and a million-year rain storm, study claims

Long ago, before the dawn of the age of dinosaurs, a heavy rain descended upon the supercontinent of Pangaea — and it kept raining for more than 1 million years.

This epic rainy spell — known now as the Carnian Pluvial Episode (CPE) — occurred roughly 233 million years ago and was a stark shift from the typically arid conditions of the late Triassic period. But stormy skies weren’t the only change Earth was facing. According to a study published Sept. 16 in the journal Science Advances, new fossil evidence suggests that the CPE was in fact a major extinction event — driven by volcanic eruptions and climate change — that resulted in the deaths of one-third of all marine species, plus a significant number of terrestrial plants and animals.

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