Prior to the famous extinction of the dinosaurs, another mass extinction paved the way for their emergence, an emergence that happened much faster than previously thought, says The Economist. "The dinosaurs went out with a bang. Most palaeontologists agree that those creatures and much of the rest of Mesozoic life ended when the Earth collided with an asteroid or a comet 65m years ago. But the Mesozoic, too, began with a mass extinction. Some 251m years ago, the efluvia of Siberian volcanoes wiped out 95% of life in the seas, and almost as much on the land, in an episode known as the Great Dying."