JUL 14, 2015 04:53 AM PDT

Plant Eaters Found No Food At The Equator

4 5 1028

About 200 million years ago, there were plenty of plant eating dinosaurs roaming the Earth, but none in warm tropical areas. There were many theories about why these herbivores were not in certain areas, but a new study may have found the answer. A team of researchers from several countries worked together at Ghost Ranch in New Mexico to examine fossils and their results pointed to a climate that was inhospitable to plant growth. While some dinosaurs did cross the equator and migrate through it, the herbivores did not stick around because the food supply could not sustain them.

The weather in this region could change rapidly from cool and humid to blazing arid heat. When temperatures spiked and the air was dry there were often wildfires which could decimate entire regions. Food that might have begun to grow during a cooler period would be wiped out when the climate turned dry and hot. The analysis of the carbon content in the fossils, as well as charcoal residue also provided data for the study. The research team was able to estimate that carbon dioxide levels were at least four and as much as six times higher than they are now. The study authors warn that if carbon dioxide levels continue to rise in areas where food is grown today, a similar situation could occur.

The study was published in the June issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
About the Author
  • I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
You May Also Like
JUL 04, 2018
Videos
JUL 04, 2018
Jockey Will Donate Brain for CTE Research
Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) is a condition where the brain, after repeated traumatic impacts, is injured. Brain function slows down and cognitio
JUL 09, 2018
Videos
JUL 09, 2018
Does Microwaving Food Affect It's Nutritional Value?
  Microwaving is a convenient way to heat food with ease and in short periods of time. But, do microwaves change the nutritional value of food? Microw
JUL 09, 2018
Videos
JUL 09, 2018
Does the Mediterranean Diet Keep Your Brain Healthy?
In southern European countries, the "Mediterranean Diet" is widespread and lauded as a healthy way to eat. It includes very little red meat, lots
JUL 17, 2018
Videos
JUL 17, 2018
Novartis Ends Antibiotic Research
The United Nations has warned that by 2050, antibiotic-resistant microbes might kill ten million people every year.
JUL 30, 2018
Videos
JUL 30, 2018
Why Does Venus Spin In The Wrong Direction?
Scientists first discovered planet Venus as an inferno of acid rain. But, most uniquely, it was a planet that spins backward. In astronomy, backward spinni
AUG 12, 2018
Videos
AUG 12, 2018
How A Therapeutic Gene Circuit Might Work
University of Wyoming researchers demonstrate their research in optogenetics.
Loading Comments...