The most massive extinction of our planet happened 252 million years ago: scientists have found that it occurred unevenly on land and in water.
The vast majority of animal species became extinct 252 million years ago, and when the dust settled, the planet entered the early days of the dinosaur era.
Scientists are still studying patterns among surviving and extinct animals. In a new study, the authors found that extinction was occurring rapidly in the oceans, but on land, the process was delayed.
One of the reasons scientists are studying marine extinctions is that underwater fossils are better preserved. Therefore, paleontologists have long known that 252 million years ago, at the end of the Permian period, there was a mass extinction: within 100 thousand years, more than 85% of species living in the ocean became extinct. In the sea, the extinction took 100 thousand years.
To find out what the situation was on land, the authors of the new work studied 588 fossil animals that lived in the territory of modern South Africa in the Karu River basin during the mass extinction of Perm.
As a result, it turned out that the mass extinction did not last ten times longer than in water. One of the reasons for this difference may be that the oceans can quickly and in large quantities absorb chemicals, and also stabilize themselves up to a certain point. In other words, abrupt changes in water occur faster and more abruptly.