When the world as you know it is ending, what do you do? Apparently, if you’re a dinosaur or synapsid — the group of animals that today includes mammals — you cool your toes in a stream. In an environment torn apart by cataclysmic volcanic activity, life, you know, found a way.Researchers working in South Africa found dozens of fossilized footprints, also called ichnofossils, that tell a surprising story of survival during the first waves of a mass extinction.Early Jurassic Mass ExtinctionYou’ve probably heard about “The Big Five” — the five largest global mass extinctions recorded in the fossil record (many researchers believe we’re in the middle of a sixth, thanks to human meddling). But our planet’s past is riddled with somewhat smaller die-offs, many of which were, on a regional level, as catastrophic as the better-known events.One such modest mass extinction occurred about 183 million years ago, during the Early Jurassic. It’s technically known as the…



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