The Permian-Triassic extinction event is undoubtedly the largest extinction event the Earth has ever seen. While evidence shows that it occurred over a great amount of time, it was effective in causing the extinction of an incredibly large portion of life on Earth. To such an extent that it took millions of years before any large amounts of biodiversity occurred again. This is why it is also referred to as the ‘Great Dying’.
This paper will will analyze the survivability of terrestrial vertebrates compared to that of terrestrial invertebrates during the Permian-Triassic Extinction Event. It will discuss the extent of the extinction event in terms of numbers that terrestrial vertebrates and invertebrates went extinct/suffered losses, as well as how the surviving taxa survived, adapted, and evolved.
The Permian-Triassic extinction statistics and possible causes:
The Permian-Triassic extinction occurred around 252 million years ago, causing the end of about 96% of marine life and around 70% of terrestrial vertebrate life that existed at that time (Lecture 29. slide 5). Overall, the event caused 83% of all genera to go extinct. This event led to an incredibly long recovery period that took millions of years for life to regain a sense of biodiversity. While many niches in the terrestrial ecosystem were left empty, they eventually were filled by surviving creatures that adapted and evolved. The extinction event is suggested to have lasted over the course of millions of years, with different genera going extinct at different times.
The specific/primary cause for the Permian-Triassic Extinction event is still in contention by several researchers, but is generally agreed on to be the result of several ‘pulses’, or miniature...
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...turwissenschaften, Volume 97, Issue 2
4.) Jessica Amber Camp (2010), Morphological variation and disparity in Lystrosaurus (Therapsida: Dicynodontia), University of Iowa
5.) Peter D. Wardotha, Roger Black, Michiel O. De Kock, Douglas E. Erwin, Geoffrey H. Garrison, Joseph L. Kirschvink, Roger Smith (2005), Abrupt and Gradual Extinction Among Late Permian Land Vertebrates in the Karoo Basin , South Africa, Science 4, Vol. 307, no. 5710, 709-714 , DOI: 10.1126/science.1107068
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