Latest Extinction event Stories
Asteroids that strike Earth have cosmic origins, but clues to the size of ancient impactors now have come from a decidedly Earth-bound source: the chemistry of ancient seawater.
Whenever the world's tropical seas warm several degrees, Earth has experienced mass extinctions over millions of years, according to a first-of-its-kind statistical study of fossil records.
New scientific findings suggest that a large comet may have exploded over North America 12,900 years ago, explaining riddles that scientists have wrestled with for decades, including an abrupt cooling of much of the planet and the extinction of large mammals.
The sudden appearance of large animal fossils more than 500 million years ago â€“ a problem that perplexed even Charles Darwin and is commonly known as â€œDarwinâ€™s Dilemmaâ€ â€“ may be due to a huge increase of oxygen in the worldâ€™s oceans.
A distant supernova that exploded 41,000 years ago may have led to the extinction of the mammoth. This theory joins the list of possible culprits responsible for the demise of mammoths, which last roamed North America roughly 13,000 years ago. Scientists have long eyed climate change, disease, or intensive hunting by humans as likely suspects.
An oxygen-free ocean from bottom to surface is probably the worst scenario that marine higher life can experience. Are processes and feedbacks linking the atmosphere to the deep ocean capable to cause a rapid change from an oxygen-rich to an oxygen-free deep ocean? And what are the consequences for the global carbon cycle that ultimately drive marine and terrestrial ecosystems and climate variation?
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Reuters) - Meteor strikes may have led to the extinction of some life on Earth, but they may have also contributed to the creation of life, according to a study released on Monday.
Scientists say that a mass extinction on Earth hundreds of millions of years ago could have been triggered by a star explosion called a gamma-ray burst. Gamma-ray radiation from a relatively nearby star explosion, hitting the Earth for only ten seconds, could deplete up to half of the atmosphere's protective ozone layer.
A detailed and extensive new analysis of the fossil records of marine animals over the past 542 million years has yielded a stunning surprise. Biodiversity appears to rise and fall in mysterious cycles of 62 million years for which science has no satisfactory explanation.
Volcanic eruptions in Siberia 251 million years ago may have started a cascade of events leading to high hydrogen sulfide levels in the oceans and atmosphere and precipitating the largest mass extinction in Earth's history, according to a Penn State geoscientist.
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