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Evolution of Micro-organisms and Plants


Triassic Period, 252.2 - 201.3 MYA

Triassic Earth's flora and fauna succumbed to the greatest of all extinctions around 245 MYA. About 95% of all species went extinct. It is estimated that biodiversity did not fully recover from this extinction for 25 million years. Figure 20 shows the cycads (left foreground), which had become the most important of the gymnosperm plants. They were either stumpy, with round or barrel-like stems, or had tall, slender trunks. All of them were topped by a tuft of palm-like leaves. Conifers were also becoming widely distributed. Another extinction occurred in the late Triassic, only 37 millions after the "big one". This one wiped out half the recovered and new species.

Figure 20 Triassic Plants
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