New mass extinction event identified by geologists

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Over the past 450 million years, life on Earth has been devastated by five mass extinction events that are widely recognised by geologists. Now, an international team of researchers proposes adding a sixth mass extinction to the list. The team believes it has accumulated sufficient evidence to promote the Capitanian event to the rank of mass extinction.

The extinction occurred approximately 262 million years ago. Their proposal would elevate the Capitanian, which occurred during the Middle Permian period, to sit alongside the so-called “Big Five” mass extinctions. The researchers, led by Dr David Bond of the University of Hull, presented their case in the Geological Society of America Bulletin.

The status of the Capitanian crisis is disputed because little has been learned about it since its discovery 20 years ago. The majority of the existing literature is based on evidence unearthed in the tropics. More here – New mass extinction event identified by geologists

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