UK Daily Mail
Nov 30, 2010
Global warming 300 million years ago triggered the evolutionary burst which caused lizards to evolve into dinosaurs, scientists revealed today.
The new research is focused on the Carboniferous Period, when the supercontinent of Pangea was covered in tropical rainforests ruled by reptiles.
Scientists now believe that the Earth became significantly hotter during this age – turning rainforests into ‘islands’ surrounded by arid deserts.
This climatic change caused lizards to adapt to live in drier conditions and led to the evolution of different varieties of dinosaurs.
Dr Howard Falcon-Lang of Royal Holloway, University of London, who carried out the research, revealed this global warming indirectly caused the evolution of mammals.
He said: ‘We now know that this climate change caused the rainforests to fragment into small ‘islands’ of forest.