Ozone-depleting chemicals may have caused the largest mass extinction in history

A massive volcano in Siberia killed 90% of all life, and halogen chemicals spewed by it played a major role.

Mass extinctions don’t come out of the blue — and we’re seeing some of the signs today

An incoming mass extinction isn’t as hard to spot as we’d believed.

Five periods of mass extinction on Earth. Are we entering the sixth?

Some scientists believe that we have entered the sixth period of extinction since 2010.

Selective wipe out of large marine species sets the stage for an unprecedented sixth mass extinction

Large marine species are favorably lost which could disrupt marine ecosystems for millions of years.

World’s first mass extinction might have been caused by animals

Looks like it’s not always asteroids.

Ancient rocks reveal causes of Earth’s greatest mass extinction event

The new findings call our current theories on the mass extinction event into question.

Ancient supernovae might have contributed to Earth mass extinction

Death from the heavens.

It pays to be a small fish in a big pond after a mass extintion

Some 360 million years ago, the oceans were teeming with big fish, some as big as a school bus. Then something terrible happened, the causes of which still escape scientists today: the Hangenberg Event. This was the last peak in a streak of mass extinctions known as the Late Devonian extinction which exterminated 97% of all marine vertebrate species. In the aftermath, it paid to be small a new study suggests. The researchers at University of Pennsylvania found that small fish dominated the ecological niches for nearly 40 million years. This tremendous rebound time is relevant today when overfishing is threatening countless large fish species. Once these disappear, it might be a very long time before we get tuna-sized fish back on our plates.

Some models no longer available: Earth enters its 6th mass extinction phase, humans accelerate the losses

Geological evidence indicates that our planet has seen five mass extinction cycles since life first appeared on the planet. While they sound like the kind of cataclysmic events that only beardy men with huge boats survive through (read that in a book once, so it must be true), they are actually an integral part of life. The cycles free up

Marine life might need 1,000 years to recover from climate change

Marine life is on the brink of experiencing its sixth mass extinction, a disruption that is expected to occur very rapidly once the gears are set in motion (cataclysmic chain events). Now, a new study suggests that it might take a full millennium for marine life to recover from a potential climate change-driven die off, not hundreds as previously suggested.

Plants are much better at adapting to mass extinction than animals

Life has found our blue gem planet as a welcoming host, but it hasn’t always been all fun and games. To our knowledge, life has gone through five major mass extinctions over the past couple hundred millions of years. During this time countless species and even families were wiped out in a heart beat, but geological time frame standards. When faced with overwhelming odds, nature favors those who can adapt. According to researchers at the University of Gothenburg plants have always been surprisingly resilient to these challenging times, compared to animals. That’s not to say that plants didn’t go extinct as well – sure, countless as well, but others soon filled their space at a much great pace than animals could.

We’re heading towards a sixth major extinction

Species on Earth are disappearing at a never-before seen rate in human history. The stark threat hangs over all species – mammals, reptiles, birds, insects – and researchers are still trying to figure out the extent of this potential mass extinction. Now, a new analysis conducted by Nature found that 41% of all amphibians on the planet now face extinction while 26% of

The Sixth Grand Extinction Will Be ‘Invisible’

Life on Earth has so far passed through five distinct crises that threatened to wipe it out, typically referred to as mass extinctions. The direst one was some 252 million years ago when 96 percent of marine species and 70 percent of life on land became extinct following a yet unconfirmed series of cataclysmic events known as the end-Permian extinction. Mass

World’s most endangered wild cat embryos frozen and stored in hope of restoration

The Iberian lynx is the only wild cat listed as  critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), numbering no more than 200 specimens, all of whom are entirely confined to southern Spain. Researchers from the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW) in Berlin recently salvaged embryos and egg cells from a pair of captive Iberian lynxes before the animals

Humans caused ancient Pacific bird extinction that killed 10% of world bird population

A new study sheds new light on the impact humans had on the local aviary fauna in the Pacific, after the authors conclude that human colonization of the Pacific Islands is the main driving factor that wiped out some 1,300 bird species in the area or roughly 10% of the entire bird population on the planet. The study also shows

During the greatest mass extinction in Earth’s history the world’s oceans reached 40°C – lethally hot

Between 247 to 252 million years ago, Earth life was going through quite possibly its most dire time. During this period some 90% of world’s species were wiped out, but what puzzled scientists for so long is the fact that it took five million years for life to recover after this apocalypse. A new study conducted by an international team

Eruption responsible for greatest mass extinction on land and sea

Paleontologists have found a link between cataclysmic volcanic eruptions around 252 million years and greatest mass extinction the Earth has ever seen, responsible for wiping out 90% of the biosphere in both land and sea. Paleontologists, led by Shu-zhong Shen of Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology in China, analyzed nine rock outcrops across Southern China which they dated back 252 million years

200 million years ago, half of all life on Earth went extint from a methane eruption

Around 200 million years ago, the Earth was still one big continent – the great Pangaea. Around that time came, what’s commonly referred to as, the End-Triassic mass extinction period in which half of all marine life on the planet went extinct. For years, scientists believed that this came as a result of a mass volcanic eruption across the world,

The shores of Canada saved animals from climate change

One of our planet’s most significant misteries is the one concerning the massive extinction that took place about 252 million years ago. As it turns out, the shores of ancient Alberta, British Columbia and the Canadian Arctic were a very important refuge for the ancient animals that were threatened; most of the animals that lived at that period were wiped

How to recover from a mass extinction

About 250 million years ago, at the end of the Permian, and event caused a mass extinction which killed over 90 percent of the life on Earth. Ecosystems were destroyed and organisms were left to recover; it was the closest life came to being wiped out ever. The full recovery of those ecosystems took at least 30 million years, according