Why Triassic Animals Were Just the Weirdest

  • Published on: 05 June 2018
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    The Triassic was full of creatures that look a lot like other, more modern species, even though they’re not closely related at all. The reason for this has to do with how evolution works and with the timing of the Triassic itself: when life was trapped between two mass extinctions.

    Thanks to Ceri Thomas for the Drepanosaurus reconstruction. Check out more of Ceri's paleoart at http://alphynix.tumblr.com and http://nixillustration.com

    And thanks as always to Nobumichi Tamura for allowing us to use his wonderful paleoart: http://spinops.blogspot.com/

    Finally, thanks to Emilio Rolandia, Matt Celeskey, and Studio 252mya for their excellent images as well.

    Produced in collaboration with PBS Digital Studios: http://youtube.com/pbsdigitalstudios

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    Original description of Triopticus with a description of repeated bodyplans and lifestyles of Triassic and later Mesozoic animals http://www.cell.com/current-biology/abstract/S0960-9822(16)30860-0
    Original description of Shringasaurus with discussion of allokotosaur evolution
    Original description of Avicranium with a discussion of drepanosaurids
    An earlier phylogenetic analysis of drepanosaurs with discussion of their likely habits in life
    A very thorough, but fairly technical discussion of adaptive radiations (including those triggered by extinctions) can be found in chapters 4, 5, and 10 of:
    Stanley, SM. 1979. Macroevolution: Pattern and Process. John Hopkins University Press.
    ISBN 0-8018-5735-X
  • Runtime : 10:10
  • dinosaurs dinos paleo paleontology scishow eons pbs pbs digital studios hank green john green complexly fossils natural history pangea drepanosaurs phytosaurs ichthyosaurs Avicranium Great Dying End Triassic Extinction adaptive radiation Permian rauisuchids aetosaurs Triassic Period stegosaurs convergent evolution chameleon finches evolution


  • jose juarez
    jose juarez   1 days ago

    Ah ha so it’s radiation that caused them to mutate well that what I’m gonna do and pore radiation on me to evolve into carnage

  • mycollegeshirt
    mycollegeshirt   2 days ago

    yeah, but we're probably the most interesting species honestly, I wonder if its possible there were other creatures as intelligent, or resourceful as we are on earth.

  • aldrin rivas
    aldrin rivas   2 days ago

    That animal (the first one) was so cool and cute when we see it today..

  • Dark Phoenix
    Dark Phoenix   4 days ago

    Just like elephants, a lot are being born without tusks now. They have somewhat of a harder time living and gathering food but are still living, and with them being born without tusks this takes them off the poachers hit list. And this has just happened in a few decades. So sad that sometimes something has to change so fast just to live, it’s no different for animals that have gone extinct.

  • preeti chopra
    preeti chopra   5 days ago

    I never knew triassic period is the weirdest. I thought this period was the weirdest. And awkward

  • Ma Le
    Ma Le   1 weeks ago


  • Maddox Atom
    Maddox Atom   1 weeks ago

    Were in an ice age bc theres a large mass of ice over the surface of the earth. So global warming is putting us back before the ice age

  • Dale Parkinson
    Dale Parkinson   1 weeks ago

    Please, more about how evolution actually works.

  • Mikxe Wiyrtxz
    Mikxe Wiyrtxz   1 weeks ago

    Another theory that we be debunked and replaced with yet another theory that will be debunked also.

  • Angella Russell
    Angella Russell   2 weeks ago

    Why does every thing have to end with "help climate change". Your videos will not be prevented from showing in my feed.

  • paul smith
    paul smith   2 weeks ago

    Theoretically is it possible to back track down the diverging branches to the first unicellular living entity that could be defined as a specie.? Since extinctions are going on in our era,and we are not in a catastrophic geological/meteorological mass extinction era, is adaptive radiation -type evolution still happening,but a a rate equal to the rate of extinctions? Is that why new species are still being discovered? Is adaptive radiation always at work on earth it just speeds up soon after a mass extinction event? How is a mass extinction defined? 25-50% of all species?

  • Opaque z
    Opaque z   2 weeks ago

    Tbh crocodiles, chameleon, armadillo are pretty weird

  • Dom Giambanco
    Dom Giambanco   2 weeks ago

    Doesn’t make sense no competition no change even less competition change

  • Rey Diablo
    Rey Diablo   3 weeks ago

    So its just like how weird we are, as another mass extinction coming up, may be in another century.

  • 8TK8 guy
    8TK8 guy   3 weeks ago

    Dont watch this with hash , trust me .

  • Jay Mamaril
    Jay Mamaril   3 weeks ago

    Commentator has superb annunciation but more importantly an exquisite speaking voice.

  • Rob Bleeker
    Rob Bleeker   4 weeks ago

    So, how will the next humanoid look like after a mass extinction of humans?

  • Racing Red
    Racing Red   4 weeks ago

    "Will go on forever"? Nothing is forever. Nothing. Everything will come to an end sooner or later.

  • Mavra
    Mavra   1 months ago

    They weren't. You're just too "normal".

  • VioletWhirlwind
    VioletWhirlwind   1 months ago

    I had never heard of drepanasaurs before...they seem really cool. Weird...but cool.

  • Dana Eris
    Dana Eris   1 months ago

    And the most elusive reptile in history the 'idontthinktheysauras' !!!!

  • Michael
    Michael   1 months ago

    But curiosity stream doesn't ever have new dinosaur shows!

  • Leona Halder
    Leona Halder   1 months ago

    Wait.. How did the scientists know that they were featherless?

  • yungan6el
    yungan6el   1 months ago

    Imma go buy a dinosaur brb.

  • yulog kerrang
    yulog kerrang   1 months ago

    It's like living organisms are a virus or pathogen and mass extinctions are the planets immune system kicking in and purging it.

  • Asian - -
    Asian - -   1 months ago

    So what niche do humans fulfill?

  • sarcasmo57
    sarcasmo57   1 months ago

    We're trapped between 2 mass extinctions now.

  • Dan non
    Dan non   1 months ago

    Convergent evolution.

  • Armin Cal
    Armin Cal   1 months ago

    Life finds a way, but seemingly only on earth.

  • Eric Wood
    Eric Wood   1 months ago

    Well, nothing's weirder than humans..

  • Aditya Jha
    Aditya Jha   1 months ago

    What will life look after 6th mega extinction (our extinction) if ?

  • Flurin Venzin
    Flurin Venzin   1 months ago

    Why do I have to look at her all the time? I want to see pictures or videos