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The Triassic is a geologic period and system that extends from about 251 to 199 Ma (million years ago). As the first period of the Mesozoic Era, the Triassic. During the Triassic, both marine and continental life show an adaptive radiation beginning from the starkly impoverished biosphere that followed the Permian-Triassic Extinction Event. Corals of the hexacorallia group made their first appearance. The first flying vertebrates, the pterosaurs, evolved during the Triassic.