Researchers believe they have closed the case of what killed the dinosaurs, definitively linking their extinction with an asteroid that slammed into Earth 66 million years ago by finding a key piece of evidence: asteroid dust inside the impact crater. Death by asteroid rather than by a series of volcanic […]

Artist’s rendering of a comet headed towards Earth. New theory explains possible origin of the Armageddon-causing object. It forever changed history when it crashed into Earth about 66 million years ago. The Chicxulub impactor, as it’s known, left behind a crater off the coast of Mexico that spans 93 miles […]

A new study applies machine learning to the fossil record to visualize life’s history, showing the impacts of major evolutionary events. This shows the long-term evolutionary and ecological impacts of major events of extinction and speciation. Colors represent the geological periods from the Tonian, starting 1 billion years ago, in […]

Mass extinctions align with major asteroid impacts and devastating volcanic outpourings of lava called flood-basalt eruptions. Researchers find that timing of mass extinctions lines up with asteroid impacts and massive volcanic eruptions. Mass extinctions of land-dwelling animals — including amphibians, reptiles, mammals, and birds — follow a cycle of about […]

The researchers found coronene-mercury enrichments in sedimentary rocks deposited in southern China and Italy 252 million years ago. Paired coronene — mercury enrichments are products of multiple phases of a large igneous province volcanism. This, they say, could have led to the environmental changes that caused the disappearance of many […]

Sessile filter feeders like this Carboniferous crinoid, the mushroom crinoid (Agaricocrinus americanus), were significantly less abundant after the Permian-Triassic extinction. Credit: Vassil – Alias Collections, CC BY-SA 3.0 New study provides a comprehensive reconstruction of the Permian-Triassic boundary event. Life on Earth has a long, but also an extremely turbulent […]

Summary of major extinction events through time, highlighting the new, Carnian Pluvial Episode at 233 million years ago. Credit: D. Bonadonna/ MUSE, Trento It’s not often a new mass extinction is identified; after all, such events were so devastating they really stand out in the fossil record. In a new […]

A team of researchers led by professor Brian Fields hypothesizes that a supernova about 65 light-years away may have contributed to the ozone depletion and subsequent mass extinction of the late Devonian Period, 359 million years ago. Pictured is a simulation of a nearby supernova colliding with and compressing the […]

According to a new study, the mass extinction that occurred 215 million years ago was not caused by an asteroid hitting Earth or by climate change. A team of University of Rhode Island scientists and statisticians conducted a sophisticated quantitative analysis of a mass extinction that occurred 215 million years […]