Essay about Permian Period Mass Extinction

Essay about Permian Period Mass Extinction

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Throughout Earth’s history there have been many changes. These changes have consisted of temperature fluctuations, atmospheric differentiations, extinctions of various plant and animal life, etc. Over time everything seems to have evolved in some way form or fashion. However, the Permian Era extinction was different from all the rest. This extinction affected every form of life, but especially the marine life. Researchers have stated that 93-97% of all Earths species went extinct during this period of time. This essay will explain how a once blossoming progressive era turned into Earths most catastrophic event.
The Permian Period occurred around 298 million years ago. It stretched from the Carboniferous Era to the Triassic. Sir Roderick Murchison in the early 1800’s noticed a differentiation among the overlay of the rock formation in the Ural Mountains in Russia. These rocks differed from the older Carboniferous rocks in Britain, and seemed younger than the Triassic rocks of Europe. Murchison named this differentiation after the prehistoric kingdom of Perm, thus the Permian Period.
The Permian Period was the last period of the Paleozoic Era. During this geological time period’s earlier stages glaciation was extensive. Middle Permian began to warm, and by the late Permian the environment was hot and dry. The environmental conditions were so extreme that the marine and terrestrial life forms were greatly affected. According to research the drastic climate change could have been caused by the formation of Pangaea. In 1912 Alfred Wegener while studying his theory of the continental drift, discovered Pangaea’s very existence. A combination of all of Earth’s landmasses joined together and covered 1/3 of Earth’s surface. Pangaea was f...


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...nder, C., Tsai, C., Wu, P., Speer, B. R., Rieboldt, S., & Smith, D. (1998/1999/2002). The permian period. Informally published manuscript, Biology 1B project for Section 115, University of California Museum of Paleontology, CA, Retrieved from http://www.ucmp.berkely.edu/permian/permian.php
Blakey, R. C. (1996). Geologic history of western us. Informally published manuscript, Northern Arizona Univ, Flagstaff, AZ, Retrieved from http://www.jan.ucc.nau.edu
Erwin, D. (2006). Extinction. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Kazlev, M. A. (1998-2002). The Permian period: 1. Retrieved from http://www.palaeos.com/paleozoic/permian/permian.htm
Permian Period. (1996-2013). National Geographic, Retrieved from http://www.science.natioanlgeographic.com/prehistoric-world/permian/
The Permian-290 to 248 million years ago. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.paleoportal.org

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