Volcano spawned the 'mother' of all extinctions

A study published in the journal Geology reveals that the great extinction of the Permian-Triassic, one of the most violent mass extinctions on the planet, occurred about 251 million years ago and resulted in the deaths of approximately 96% of all marine species. and 70% of terrestrial vertebrates may have been caused by the eruption of a volcano.

In the article, researchers from Norway, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Pakistan present evidence on data collected by carbon-13 isotopes from plant cuticles, fossil wood fragments and organic materials found in the Salt Range region of Pakistan. Dating back to historical material reveals a shift in carbon isotopes in the Permian-Triassic period, indicating a large increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere at that time.

The mother of all extinctions

Research shows that data collected by carbon-13 isotopes coincide with mass biological extinction and carbonic perturbation of the atmosphere. Permo-Triassic extinction was considered “the mother of all mass extinctions” by paleontologist Douglas H. Erwin, an expert of the Paleozoic era and a scholar on the causes of this event. Extinction has brought about a drastic change in all life forms.

The Salt Range volcano may have spewed lava and carbon dioxide for millions of years, completely changing the configuration of life on Earth. According to Erwin, the resurgence of life took another million years after this extinction, and the evolutionary process that followed it is as interesting as the cataclysm itself.