Wednesday, June 5, 2019 at 11:50AM
Drew Wolfe

The 'Great Dying' Nearly Erased Life On Earth. Scientists See Similarities To Today

"There was a time when life on Earth almost blinked out. The "Great Dying," the biggest extinction the planet has ever seen, happened some 250 million years ago and was largely caused by greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Now scientists are beginning to see alarming similarities between the Great Dying and what's currently happening to our atmosphere. "

"Scientists are highlighting that similarity in a new exhibit at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C."

"The crown jewel of the Deep Time exhibit is the museum's first real Tyrannosaurus rex. Its skeleton stands over the bones of a prone triceratops, with one clawed foot holding down the hapless herbivore and jaws clamped onto its head, ready to take a bite the size of a manhole cover."

"'We like to say, 'Come for the dinosaurs, stay for everything else,' 'says Scott Wing, one of the curators."

"The theme of the exhibit is actually the interconnectedness of life through geologic time. The exhibit shows, for example, how plants at the bottom of the food chain supported everything from insects to 20-ton apatosauruses and how insects helped shape the kind of forests that evolved and changed over millions of years."

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