Humans have experienced quite a lot – from massive volcanic eruptions to devastating storms, from catastrophic earthquakes to gigantic tsunamis, from mass genocides to world wars. However, we are still to face the biggest threat of all – an extinction level event that can wipe out most of the life forms on our home planet. Several such events have taken place on earth and most popular of all is the Cretaceous-Tertiary event that wiped out the dinosaurs from the face of this planet about 65 million years ago. However, that event was not really the most devastating of all. Tracing back the history of catastrophic extinction events, we come across the Permian-Triassic Extinction event that was by far the largest extinction event that ever took place on Earth. Let us learn 40 interesting Permian-Triassic Extinction event facts and find out what really happened and how much of life on Earth was put to an end.
Interesting Permian-Triassic Extinction Event Facts: 1-10
1. The Permian-Triassic Extinction event is also known as Great Permian Extinction. However, it is widely popular by the name Great Dying.
2. This event took place long before the dinosaurs roamed on this planet. The event took place nearly 252 million years ago.
3. The event took place at the end of Paleozoic era which was between the end of Permian and beginning of Triassic periods.
4. During that period, the entire land mass on earth was fused together to form one supercontinent – Pangea. The supercontinent extended all the way from North Pole to South Pole.
5. The whole super continent was surrounded by one super-ocean known as Panthalassa.
6. The Great Dying was the largest ever mass extinction that ever took place on earth. So devastating was the event that nearly all life forms were wiped out.
7. So catastrophic was the loss of biodiversity that earth took nearly 10 million years to recover from the loss – longest ever taken for recovery after a cataclysmic event like that.
8. So exactly how much was the loss? Here is a quick figure:
- Marine life form: 96% of all marine species became extinct.
- Terrestrial vertebrate: 70% of all life forms became extinct.
- Insects: 83% of all genera and 57% of all families became extinct.
9. Great Dying is the only known extinction event that led to mass extinction of insects.
10. Extinction took place in three distinct phases that spanned over a period of less than 200,000 years.