The Versatility of Amphibia

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JDaileyGreatLakes
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The Versatility of Amphibia

Post by JDaileyGreatLakes » Thu Jul 14, 2016 9:37 pm

Just because you're not pre-packaged to deal with a specific change in the environment doesn't necessarily mean that you're likely to be dead. Amphibia brings to mind. Its life is so tied to the water that, by that logic, it shouldn't have survived the worst drought in Earth's history, the rogue greenhouse effect of the Great Dying. But it did, and Amphibia proliferated in every lake, pond, marsh and swamp in the world.


The problem is that the amphibians who survived the Great Dying were not MODERN amphibians. That specific category--Anura (frogs and toads), Urodela (salamanders and newts) and Apoda (caecilians)--wouldn't enter the scene until after the Triassic-Jurassic extinction event 200 million years ago, a catastrophe that made possible the planet Earth being a Dinosaur Empire.


Despite being tied to the water, some frogs and toads can and do thrive in deserts. Their secret to adaptation is simple--either come out at the cool dark of night or when the rains come (or, the best choice, both). In some deserts, frogs and toads may stay underground for a decade (which is the case of the Australian Outback).


In regards to this kind of versatility, is there a difference between a decade of drought and one hundred thousand years of drought, as might be the case of the Great Dying? Do the modern amphibians--or lissamphibians--have a chance against a future or an alternate Great Dying?

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Re: The Versatility of Amphibia

Post by 20 characters! » Thu Jul 14, 2016 10:38 pm

Yes, as long as Refugia exist, for example I could see things like Olmsted waiting out the nonsense underground and almost laughing about it. Frogs survive at least the KT event, so why not.

They might even diversify.

Or of corse they might do what some temnospondyls did, and develop scales, compile that with ovoviviparous birth and you would make these guys essentials terrestrial.

Or of course some will go neotenic and scavenge inside lakes and such.

They have the capability to be quite flexible, especially species like the cane toad which clearly deserves its own statue.
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Prudentia
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Re: The Versatility of Amphibia

Post by Prudentia » Thu Jul 14, 2016 11:01 pm

Of course amphibians have a chance. All modern amphibians are descended from water conservant forms that made it through the permian, and today is pretty geologically dry period. You may not believe it, but Ice Ages are pretty dry and build up massive aquifers, and we are in the middle of a set of ice ages.
Black Rockfish, Sebastes melanops, ~12 inches, of the coast of Newport, Oregon.

JDaileyGreatLakes
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Re: The Versatility of Amphibia

Post by JDaileyGreatLakes » Thu Jul 14, 2016 11:26 pm

20 characters! wrote:Frogs survive at least the KT event, so why not.

The problem with that analogy is that the MC extinction event wasn't as extensive as the Great Dying. The MC extinction event was also months of cold and darkness, not tens of millennia of drought.

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Re: The Versatility of Amphibia

Post by Prudentia » Fri Jul 15, 2016 12:34 am

JDaileyGreatLakes wrote:
20 characters! wrote:Frogs survive at least the KT event, so why not.

The problem with that analogy is that the MC extinction event wasn't as extensive as the Great Dying. The MC extinction event was also months of cold and darkness, not tens of millennia of drought.
Amphibians would be able to survive, because there would still be somewhere with water. The hot dry climate you are describing would also create larger rain forests, due increased evapotranspiration in the tropics, which would create more rain. So in some ways, amphibians would do pretty well.

To elaborate, since this might seem odd. Plants, particularly trees, move materials up their trunks using capillary action and water. At the top of the tree, the water in question is lost to the air. As water vapor it helps form clouds. Since the tropics are very humid, this can oversaturate the air, causing water to fall as rain. So the cycle repeats. So these drought like conditions that you appear so confident would wipe out amphibians would create extremely large tropical and temperate rainforests, creating massive areas for amphibians.

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v4 ... 85_F1.html
Black Rockfish, Sebastes melanops, ~12 inches, of the coast of Newport, Oregon.

JDaileyGreatLakes
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Re: The Versatility of Amphibia

Post by JDaileyGreatLakes » Fri Jul 15, 2016 2:14 am

Was there any evidence of tropical rainforest-like habitats during the Great Dying?

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Prudentia
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Re: The Versatility of Amphibia

Post by Prudentia » Fri Jul 15, 2016 2:46 am

JDaileyGreatLakes wrote:Was there any evidence of tropical rainforest-like habitats during the Great Dying?
I would be surprised if they didn't find any. Keep in mind, this is just going off of the general rules that climate tends to follow. Due to other considerations, the rainforests would only exist at the coastlines, but could have theoretically expanded across Pangea to form a belt, had it been given enough time.
Black Rockfish, Sebastes melanops, ~12 inches, of the coast of Newport, Oregon.

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Re: The Versatility of Amphibia

Post by Prudentia » Sat Jul 30, 2016 6:05 am

JDaileyGreatLakes wrote:Was there any evidence of tropical rainforest-like habitats during the Great Dying?
So everything that I am seeing is saying the same thing(s). That a carboniferous like/rainforest like climate could still be found along the island chain that became South China as of the Late Permian.

http://www.geo.arizona.edu/~rees/Permintro2.html
http://www.scotese.com/lpermcli.htm
http://www.geologypage.com/2014/04/permian-period.html
Black Rockfish, Sebastes melanops, ~12 inches, of the coast of Newport, Oregon.

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