The Triassic period represented the time after the great Permian period extinctions. It also was important as a time of transition—when the old life of the Paleozoic era gave way to the more highly developed and varied form of life of the Mesozoic era. The Permian period extinctions wiped out most of the animals and plants on Earth (about 90 percent of all species), making the very early Triassic an eerie place, almost completely devoid of the abundant life that existed perhaps hundreds or thousands of years before. Certain flora and fauna still dotted the land, and eventually, after about 10 million years or more, life began to emerge in full force again. But it still took even longer for larger animals, coral reefs, and other specialized animals to recover or evolve after the extinction at the end of the Permian period.