|Subdivision of the Triassic system|
according to the
The Late Triassic is the third and final of three
The extinction event that began during the Late Triassic resulted in the disappearance of about 76% of all terrestrial and marine life species, as well as almost 20% of taxonomic families. Although the Late Triassic Epoch did not prove to be as destructive as the preceding
Most of the evidence suggests the increase of volcanic activity was the main cause of the extinction. As a result of the rifting of the super continent Pangea, there was an increase in widespread volcanic activity which released large amounts of carbon dioxide. At the end of the Triassic period, massive eruptions occurred along the rift zone, known as the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province, for about 500,000 years. These intense eruptions were classified as flood basalt eruptions, which are a type of large scale volcanic activity that releases a huge volume of lava in addition to sulfur dioxide and carbon dioxide. The sudden increase in carbon dioxide levels is believed to have enhanced the greenhouse effect, which acidified the oceans and raised average air temperature. As a result of the change in biological conditions in the oceans, 22% of marine families became extinct. In addition, 53% of marine genera and about 76-86% of all species became extinct, which vacated ecological niches; thus, enabling dinosaurs to become the dominant presence in the Jurassic period. While the majority of the scientists agree that volcanic activity was the main cause of the extinction, other theories suggest the extinction was triggered by the impact of an asteroid, climate change, or rising sea levels.