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Oxford University scientists have unveiled the cause behind extinction of ichthyosaur, a massive shark-like reptile of cretaceous period. Their study, which was published in the journal Nature Communications, has claimed that the massive species disappeared due to climate change and its own slow evolutionary process.
The scientist found a close relation between environmental change and ichthyosaur extinction. The species was incapable to change fast enough with changing climate. Other species, even those which were predecessor to ichthyosaur, had successfully altered themselves in accordance with demand of environment.
However, ichthyosaur for being unsuccessful to adapt has ultimately left the planet. Scientists have found diversity in ichthyosaur, but still they evolved much slowly which made it difficult for them to adapt to changed climate and the death was inevitable.
“We analyzed the extinction of this crucial marine group thoroughly for the first time. We compared the diversity of ichthyosaurs with the geological record of global change, emphasizing the dynamics of these datasets,” said lead author of the study, Dr. Valentin Fischer of the Universities of Liege in Belgium and Oxford in the UK.
There are not clear or complete evidence indicating the cause of extinction, but in case of ichthyosaur, one can be pretty certain about the belief that inability to adjust with fast change in climate must have put an end to the species.
The scientists even acknowledge the fact that such a disaster that could have led ichthyosaur to extinction could be seen presently around as some of the current changes in the global climate have put many species on the verge of extinction.
The current climate change is brought by changes in global temperature and precipitation patterns. Other factors are ocean acidification and pollution. These all are making earth increasingly inhabitable for many species.