An extinction event is a relatively fast drop in the number of species living on Earth. It occurs when the rate of extinction increases more than the rate of speciation. This is a list of the largest. Major extinction events are important to both geology and evolution.
The Phanerozoic[change | change source]
Other extinction events in the Phanerozoic had significant impact on the evolution of the biota. Overall, it seems that climate changes caused some extinctions, and hits by asteroids sometimes caused extinctions.
- The formation of the moon by a planet-sized body striking the Earth would probably have eliminated any early forms of life.
- Pre-Palaeozoic ice ages would have been extinction events. They were:
References[change | change source]
- Huggett, Richard J. 1997. Catastrophism. new ed. Verso.
- Elewa A.M.T. (ed) 2008. Mass extinctions. Springer, Berlin.
- Hallam A. and Wignall P.B. 1997. Mass extinctions and their aftermath. Oxford.
- MacLeod N.; et al. (1997). "The Cretaceous–Tertiary biotic transition". Journal of the Geological Society. 154 (2): 265–292. Bibcode:1997JGSoc.154..265M. doi:10.1144/gsjgs.154.2.0265. S2CID 129654916.
- Benton M.J. 1991. What really happened in the Late Triassic? Historical biology 5, 263–278.
- Benton M.J. 1995. Diversification and extinction in the history of life. Science 268, 52–58.
- Benton M.J. 2005. When life nearly died: the greatest mass extinction of all time. Thames & Hudson, London. isbn=978-0500285732
- Erwin DH 1993. The great Paleozoic crisis; life and death in the Permian Columbia, N.Y. isbn=0231074670
- McGhee, George R. Jr 1996. The Late Devonian mass extinction: the Frasnian/Famennian crisis. Columbia, N.Y. ISBN 0231075049
- Jablonski D. 1994. Extinctions in the fossil record. Phil Trans Roy Soc B344, 11–17.