For years, paleontologists have wondered why plant-eating dinosaurs steered clear of the equator. Apparently, herbivorous dinosaurs were not fond of the tropics. Available evidence suggests that at least until 30 years after dinos first appeared on Earth, they avoided living at low altitudes. Now a group of scientists led by Jessica Whiteside from University of Southampton in Britain has revealed why herbivorous dinos kept away from tropics.
Harsh climate prevented herbivorous dinosaurs from living in tropics
Dinosaurs first emerged about 230 million years ago during the Late Triassic Period. But only small, carnivorous dinos lived in the tropics. Whiteside’s study suggests that a highly unpredictable hot and dry weather, coupled with extremely high levels of carbon dioxide prevented the giant herbivores from inhabiting the tropics for over 30 million years. Findings of the study were published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.