Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Apocalypse Then



'Though the dinosaurs might find it crass to say so, the late Cretaceous cataclysm that did them in was a planetary bad hair day compared to the mass extinction that occurred some 250 million years ago, at the end of the Permian period. The Permian event is probably the closest that life on Earth ever came to being completely extinguished. Around 95 percent of marine species and 70 percent of terrestrial vertebrates were wiped out -- a greater percentage of the Earth's species than the next two largest mass extinctions combined. The break in the fossil record at the Permian boundary is so severe that 19th-century geologists saw it as evidence of two completely separate creations of life...' More

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