Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Ecosystem Remodelling Among Vertebrates During The Permian-Triassic Extinction

Date:
November 9, 2004
Source:
University Of Bristol
Summary:
The biggest mass extinction of all time happened 251 million years ago, at the Permian-Triassic boundary. Virtually all of life was wiped out, but the pattern of how life was killed off on land has been mysterious until now. A team from Bristol University and Saratov University, Russia, have now laid the evidence bare.

The biggest mass extinction of all time happened 251 million years ago, at the Permian-Triassic boundary. Virtually all of life was wiped out, but the pattern of how life was killed off on land has been mysterious until now. A team from Bristol University and Saratov University, Russia, have now laid the evidence bare.

The Bristol and Russian researchers have documented the event in Russia after looking at 675 specimens of amphibians and reptiles from 289 areas spanning 13 successive geological time zones in the South Urals basin. The study will be reported in Nature tomorrow [Thursday, November 4].

The mass extinction at the Permian-Triassic boundary is accepted as the most profound loss of life on record. Records indicate a loss of 50 per cent of animal groups or more, in both sea and on land, with a loss of 80 to 96 per cent of species. Local and regional-scale studies of marine specimen confirm the loss, but the terrestrial record has been harder to analyse in such close detail.

There was a profound loss of animal groups, and simplification of ecosystems, with the loss of small fish eaters and insect eaters, medium and large herbivores and large carnivores. Plant life also changed, from high rates of turnover through the Late Permian period to greater stability at low diversity through the Early Triassic period. Even after 15 million years of ecosystem rebuilding, some groups were still absent—small fish eaters, small insect eaters, large herbivores and top carnivores.

The end-Permian mass extinction is now thought to have been caused by gigantic volcanic eruptions, which triggered a runaway greenhouse effect and nearly put an end to life on earth.

Mike Benton, Professor of Vertebrate Palaeontology and Head of the Department of Earth Sciences at Bristol University, said: “At the end of the Permian there was a high turnover in animal families on land however these were largely destroyed by the Permian-Triassic extinction. However, after that the animal groups recovered slowly and diversity gradually increased.”

Ecosystem remodelling among vertebrates at the Permian–Triassic boundary in Russia, M J Benton, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol and V P Tverdokhlebov and M V Surkov, Geological Institute of Saratov State University, Russia. Nature, 4 November 2004.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Bristol. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Bristol. "Ecosystem Remodelling Among Vertebrates During The Permian-Triassic Extinction." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 November 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/11/041103234222.htm>.
University Of Bristol. (2004, November 9). Ecosystem Remodelling Among Vertebrates During The Permian-Triassic Extinction. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/11/041103234222.htm
University Of Bristol. "Ecosystem Remodelling Among Vertebrates During The Permian-Triassic Extinction." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/11/041103234222.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 16, 2014) Crocodile farming has been a challenge in Zimbabwe in recent years do the economic collapse and the financial crisis. But as Ciara Sutton reports one of Europe's biggest suppliers of skins to the luxury market has come up with an unusual survival strategy - vegetarian food. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A research institute in Paris somehow misplaced more than 2,000 vials of the deadly SARS virus. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Three Rare White Tiger Cubs Debut at Zoo

Raw: Three Rare White Tiger Cubs Debut at Zoo

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) The Buenos Aires Zoo debuted a trio of rare white Bengal tiger cubs on Wednesday. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins