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The worst of times : how life on earth survived eighty million years of extinctions

Author: P B Wignall
Publisher: Princeton : Princeton University Press, [2015]
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
260 million years ago, life on Earth suffered wave after wave of cataclysmic extinctions, with the worst--the end-Permian extinction--wiping out nearly every species on the planet. This book delves into the mystery behind these extinctions and sheds light on the fateful role the primeval supercontinent, known as Pangea, may have played in causing these global catastrophes. Drawing on the latest discoveries as well  Read more...
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Details

Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: P B Wignall
ISBN: 9780691142098 0691142092 0691176027 9780691176024
OCLC Number: 908084043
Description: xvii, 199 pages : illustrations (some color), maps (some color) ; 23 cm
Contents: A time of dying --
Extinction in the shadows --
The killing seas --
Troubled times in the Triassic --
Triassic downfall --
Pangea's final blow --
Pangea's death and the rise of resilience.
Responsibility: Paul B. Wignall.

Abstract:

260 million years ago, life on Earth suffered wave after wave of cataclysmic extinctions, with the worst--the end-Permian extinction--wiping out nearly every species on the planet. This book delves into the mystery behind these extinctions and sheds light on the fateful role the primeval supercontinent, known as Pangea, may have played in causing these global catastrophes. Drawing on the latest discoveries as well as his own field expeditions to remote corners of the world, Paul Wignall reveals what scientists are only now beginning to understand about the most prolonged period of environmental crisis in Earth's history. He describes how a series of unprecedented extinction events swept across the planet in a span of eighty million years, rapidly killing marine and terrestrial life on a scale more devastating than the dinosaur extinctions that would come later. Wignall shows how these extinctions--some of which have only recently been discovered--all coincided with gigantic volcanic eruptions of flood basalt lavas that occurred when the world's landmasses were united into a single vast expanse. Unraveling one of the great enigmas of ancient Earth, this book also explains how the splitting apart of Pangea into the continents we know today ushered in a new age of vibrant and more resilient life on our planet.--Adapted from book jacket.
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One of Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles for 2016 "[Wignall] presents a sound examination of an 80-million-year span, which began nearly 260 million years ago, that is considered by scientists to Read more...

 
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