Scientists are discovering a sixth massive extinction that took place 260 million years ago after a volcano eruption in Asia
- Study by Nanjing University and the Biology Department at New York University
- They found details of an eruption that also created the Emeishan Traps in China
- Historians previously believed that there were five geological eras defined by extinction
Scientists believe they have discovered a sixth mass extinction on Earth.
Experts from Nanjing University in China, along with the Biology Department at New York University, believe that a volcanic eruption destroyed the planet during the Middle Permian period.
This took place in South Asia, near Burma, some 260 million years ago and may increase the total number of extinctions in the geological record.
Historians previously believed that there were five geological eras defined by extinction: the Ordovician, the Late Devonian, the Permian, the Triassic, and the Cretaceous.
Experts from Nanjing University in China, along with the Biology Department at New York University, believe that a volcanic eruption destroyed the planet during the Middle Permian period
The first of these, around 540 million years ago, was probably the second most serious. Almost all life was in the sea at the time and about 85 percent of these species had disappeared.
The most recent happened when an asteroid crashed to Earth 66 million years ago and often gets blamed for ending the reign of the dinosaurs.
However, it is thought that a previously unknown eruption occurred between these two chronological markers.
& # 39; It is crucial that we know the number of serious mass extinctions and their timing to investigate their causes & # 39 ;, said Michael Rampino, a professor at the Biology Department at New York University in the journal Historical Biology.
Earlier, historians believed that five geological eras were defined by extinction: the Ordovician, the Late Devonian, the Permian, the Triassic, and the Cretaceous
& # 39; Remarkably, all six major extinctions of the masses are correlated with devastating environmental changes – notably massive eruptions of flood basalt, covering more than a million square kilometers with thick lava flows. & # 39;
It is believed that the incident also created the Emeishan Traps, a dramatic rock formation in southern China.
& # 39; Massive outbursts such as these release large amounts of greenhouse gases, particularly carbon dioxide and methane, causing severe global warming, with warm, oxygen-poor oceans not conducive to marine life, & # 39; Rampino adds.
& # 39; In terms of both losses in the number of species and total ecological damage, the end-Guadalupian event now counts as a major mass extinction, similar to the other five. & # 39;
WHEN WERE THE FIVE BIG EXCELLENT EVENTS OF EARTH?
Five times a vast majority of life in the world has been wiped out in what is called mass extinction.
End-Ordovician mass extinction
The first of the traditional big five extinction events, about 540 million years ago, was probably the second most serious. Almost all life had disappeared in the sea and about 85% of these species had disappeared.
Late Devonian mass extinction
About 375-359 million years ago, major environmental changes caused a slow extinction event that wiped out large fish groups and stopped the formation of new coral reefs for 100 million years.
Five times a vast majority of life in the world has been wiped out in what is called mass extinction. Perhaps the most famous is the Final Chalk, which has eradicated the dinosaurs. Artist & # 39; s impression
End-Permian mass extinction (The Great Dying)
The largest extinction event and the event that had the most impact on the ecology of the earth took place 252 million years ago. No less than 97% of the species that leave a fossil record have disappeared forever.
End-Trias mass extinction
Dinosaurs first appeared in the early trias, but large amphibians and mammalian reptiles were the dominant land animals. The rapid mass extinction that took place 201 million years ago changed that.
End Cretan mass extinction
An asteroid settled on Earth 66 million years ago and is often blamed for ending the rule of the dinosaurs.
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