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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Scientists found evidence of a previously unknown mass extinction


Only half a million years after the most extensive mass extinction in the history of the Earth — the Permian extinction — the flora and fauna of the planet is again under threat. To such conclusion came the command shveitsarskii paleontologists under the guidance of Hugo Bucher from the University of Zurich.


photo: morguefile.com

Permian extinction, which is sometimes called “the great”, occurred about 252 million years ago and became the most massive known, causing the disappearance of more than 95 percent of all existed in the period of biological species. This extinction marked the end of Paleozoic and beginning of Mesozoic era. One of the mysteries associated with this event, is the question of why life on Earth took unexpectedly long time to “recover”.

Studying ancient layers of sedimentary rocks on the territory of modern Greenland, the experts found that soon after the Permian extinction was followed by another. This was evidenced by the increase in the number of spore of a fern, well experiencing various disasters, and a reduction in the number of other flora — and particularly conifers. To change the composition of plants, scientists have been able to judge, after analyzing the contents of carbon isotopes in rocks and the preserved fossilized seeds and spores.

The researchers suggest that the second “row” of mass extinction have affected very many species of plants, and, in all likelihood, and animal, and “delayed” restoration of flora and fauna. While experts can’t say exactly what caused the cataclysm they discovered, however, admit that the key role in this could play occurred in the early Triassic period on the territory of modern Siberia, the most powerful volcanic eruptions.

The results of their study, the scientists presented in the journal Scientific Reports.

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