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    What Caused Triassic Era Extinction in the American Southwest?

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    Geo Beats

    by Geo Beats

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    Researchers are studying clues left behind in the desert of Arizona that indicate a catastrophic event, which might have wiped out many species and caused mass extinction across the southwestern United States during the Triassic period.

    Researchers are studying clues left behind in the desert of Arizona that indicate a catastrophic event, which might have wiped out many species and caused mass extinction across the southwestern United States during the Triassic period.

    An ongoing investigation of the rock layers by researchers from the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory is taking place in the Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona.

    Rock sediment layers reveal one unusual pattern called the persistent red silcrete that shows the separation of two geologic periods known as the Adamanian and the Revueltian when plants and animals in the area faced extinction.

    Researchers want to know what caused the extinction, and some evidence suggests that it might have been caused by a large meteor that hit Canada some 215 million years ago.

    That area, called the Manicouagan Crater, is 60 miles across, and some experts think it is the location of where the meteor that caused the mass extinction collided with Earth.

    The desert of the Petrified Forest used to be a wetland forest, and there is geological evidence of the life that used to thrive where now only a few patches of grass remain.