A fortuitous orbit of the International Space Station allowed the astronauts this striking view of Sarychev Volcano (Russia’s Kuril Islands, northeast of Japan) in an early stage of eruption on June 12, 2009. Credit: NASA Results demonstrate the power of nickel isotope analyses, which are relatively new, to solve long-standing […]

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 […]