List of extinction events facts for kids
An extinction event is a relatively fast drop in the number of species living on Earth. It occurs when the rate of extinction increases more than the rate of speciation. This is a list of the largest. Major extinction events are important to both geology and evolution.
There are five major extinction events in the Phanerozoic eon, and many smaller events. In order of time, latest first:
1. K/T extinction event. The Cretaceous/Tertiary extinction event ended the Mesozoic era and started the Cainozoic era.
2. End–Triassic extinction event.
3. P/Tr extinction event. The Permian/Triassic extinction event ended the Palaeozoic era and started the Mesozoic era.
4. Late Devonian extinctions, at the Frasnian/Famennian junction.
5. End–Ordovician extinction event. After a series of lesser events, the end-Ordovician extinction resulted in an estimated 84% species loss.
Lesser Phanerozoic extinctions
Other extinction events in the Phanerozoic also had significant impact on the evolution of the biota.
- Eocene–Oligocene transition. From the middle of the Eocene to early in the Oligocene there were a number of events. The climate became much cooler, ice formed on Antarctica, and there was a turnover in aquatic and terrestrial groups.
- Vendian/Cambrian extinction event. Extinctions have been claimed for three groups: the acritarchs, trace fossils, and the famous Ediacaran fossils. Not much is known about this event.