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Mass extinctions The ages of the Earth

Mass extinctions The ages of the Earth


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The skeleton of a dinosaur in a museum reminds us of the great extinctions. The Earth has lived at least five mass extinctions throughout its history.

The most tragic was the great extinction of the Permian, 225 million years ago. It killed 95% of living things, including trilobites. It was a period of much volcanic activity. The gases emitted by the volcanoes increased the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and caused a warming of the climate. The oceans became acidic and almost all marine life became extinct.

But the best known is the great extinction of the late Cretaceous, 65 million years ago. It was the end of the dinosaurs, after 150 million years of dominion over the Earth. It also killed ammonites and large marine reptiles. The cause of this mass extinction could be the impact of a meteorite. The dust produced by the crash covered the entire planet, preventing sunlight from reaching and causing climate change. The plants stopped performing photosynthesis, died and, behind them, the entire food chain. Between the rock strata of the Cretaceous and Cenozoic periods, there are 2 cm of clay and iridium that would confirm this theory.

For 10,000 years we would be in the 6th great extinction. It would affect numerous species, such as bees and all amphibians.

A strange theory believes that the trajectory of an alleged twin star of the Sun, called Nemesis, would be the cause of mass extinctions. Until today, there is no evidence of its existence.

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