Tuesday, May 01, 2012

LYSTROSAURUS: The Ultimate Survivor

During the Great Dying (at the end of the Permian Period (about 300 million years ago)), nearly 95 percent of life on earth died out.  One animal that did survive this terrible time, and latter populated the earth was Lystrosaurus.  This remarkable Therapsid (Mammal-Reptile) dominated the earth for about ten million years (approximately 230 million years ago) during the early Triassic Period.  Referred to the “Noah” of the Great Dying, Lystrosaurus was considered to be “disaster taxa”.  While the world was recovering from this near-total mass extinction, She took advantage of the hot and dry environment, and thrived.  However, this primitive animal eventually became unable to compete with the species who emerged during the later Triassic Period.
            Lystrosaurus was the size of a modern Pig, and possessed two tusks for teeth.  In addition, She had a horny beak like a Turtle.  Since her jaws are structured for shearing not chewing, Lystrosaurus ground her food instead.  Also, this heavy-set Therapsid walked like a Reptile, using a semi-sprawling gait.
            Since She lived on nearly every continent (except South America), fossils of Lystrosaurus have been found everywhere.  Because her bones were discovered in both southern Africa and Antarctica, Lystrosaurus proved that these continents were once joined together as a single landmass.  Moreover, these fossils demonstrated that the theory of continental drift was indeed a fact.
            A remarkable animal, Lystrosaurus survived the Great Dying to populate the earth.  At one time, She accounted for 95 percent of all of the land animals in the world.  This was the only time that a single species (except for modern Humans) utterly dominated the landscape.
            A lot can be learned from Lystrosaurus.  For starters, She is a survivor who lived through extremely tough times.  In fact, She thrived in terrible conditions.  By being Herself, Lystrosaurus proved a major scientific theory – Continental Drift.  Throughout it all, Lystrosaurus, a plant eater, dominated life at a time of needed recovery.  Let Lystrosaurus teach you survival skills for your difficult times.

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