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Mass Extinction Reason: Nature Geoscience

Mass Extinction:

Before the Cretaceous mass extinction known for wiping out non-avian dinosaurs, the Earth had witnessed four other great mass extinctions.

  • A paper published last week in the journal, Nature Geoscience, has come up with a new reason behind the first mass extinction, also known as the Late Ordovician mass extinction.
  • The article notes that the cooling climate likely changed the ocean circulation pattern.
  • This caused a disruption in the flow of oxygen-rich water from the shallow seas to deeper oceans, leading to a mass extinction of marine creatures.
  • The Ordovician mass extinction that occurred about 445 million years ago killed about 85% of all species.
  • The other big extinction events were:
    • The Devonian mass extinction (about 375 million years ago) wiped out about 75% of the world’s species.
    • The Permian mass extinction(about 250 million years ago) also known as the Great Dying caused the extinction of over 95% of all species.
    • The Triassic mass extinction (200 million years ago) eliminated about 80% of Earth’s species, including some dinosaurs.
    • Some researchers have pointed out that we are currently experiencing a sixth mass extinction as the result of human-induced climate change.