Mass Extinctions in the Marine Fossil Record

  title={Mass Extinctions in the Marine Fossil Record},
  author={David M. Raup and J John . Sepkoski},
  pages={1501 - 1503}
A new compilation of fossil data on invertebrate and vertebrate families indicates that four mass extinctions in the marine realm are statistically distinct from background extinction levels. These four occurred late in the Ordovician, Permian, Triassic, and Cretaceous periods. A fifth extinction event in the Devonian stands out from the background but is not statistically significant in these data. Background extinction rates appear to have declined since Cambrian time, which is consistent… 
Mass extinctions in the fossil record of late Palaeozoic and Mesozoic tetrapods
  • M. Benton
  • Environmental Science, Geography
  • 1990
The fossil record of tetrapods is very patchy because of the problems of preservation in terrestrial sediments, and because vertebrates are rarely very abundant. However, the fossil record of
Mesozoic marine fossil diversity and mass extinctions : an experience with the middle XIX century paleontological data
  • D. Ruban
  • Environmental Science, Geology
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The recalculation of the paleontological data of A. dʼORBIGNY on the marine fossils distribution within the Mesozoic stages found that fossils diversity changes constrained with the 150 years old data seem to be enough similar to ones calculated with the recent data.
Phanerozoic Overview of Mass Extinction
Mass extinctions are episodes of accelerated extinction of variable magnitude that affect widespread taxa and cause at least temporary declines in their diversity. Although such episodes are often
The plant fossil record reflects just two great extinction events
Five great taxonomic extinctions (the so‐called ‘Big Five Mass Extinctions’) are widely recognized in life history, at the end of the Ordovician, Frasnian (Late Devonian), Permian, Triassic and
Dynamics of origination and extinction in the marine fossil record
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  • Environmental Science, Geography
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
  • 2008
The discipline-wide effort to database the fossil record at the occurrence level has made it possible to estimate marine invertebrate extinction and origination rates with much greater accuracy. The
Mass extinction events and the plant fossil record.
As one of five major extinction events, the Late Devonian was a time when life was devastated on Earth. Worldwide, all marine and terrestrial ecosystems felt its effects. Studies show flora and fauna
Mass extinction among non-marine tetrapods
  • M. Benton
  • Environmental Science, Geography
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It is shown that family diversity rose with time, and in particular from the Cretaceous to the present day, and the present evidence does not support the view that mass extinctions are statistically distinguishable from background extinctions.
Diversification and extinction in the history of life.
  • M. Benton
  • Geography, Environmental Science
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Analysis of the fossil record of microbes, algae, fungi, protists, plants, and animals shows that the diversity of both marine and continental life increased exponentially since the end of the Precambrian, but no support was found for the periodicity of mass extinctions.
Determinants of extinction in the fossil record
A new compilation of the amount of exposed marine sedimentary rock is used to predict how the observed fossil record of extinction would appear if the time series of true extinction rates were in fact smooth, and supports the hypothesis that much of the observed short-term volatility in extinction rates is an artefact of variability in the stratigraphic record.


Repeating evolutionary pattern in late Cambrian trilobite biomeres
It is believed that there is a repeating pattern of four stages of evolution of the non-agnostid trilobite populations in each biomere, and that this evolutionary pattern reflects the adaptive radiation that these populations experienced.
Jurassic bivalve biogeography
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