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Extinction: A 62-million-year itch?

At Seed Magazine (June 29, 2009), Adrian Melott of “The Big Idea” asks, “Sometimes, something kills nearly all life on the entire planet. But is there a regular cycle to this creation and destruction of Earth’s biodiversity?”, arguing, Fortunately, all known dips in biodiversity seem to be followed by periods of rapid diversification called radiations. It was the end-Permian event that allowed the dinosaurs to develop and flourish. Of course, yet another mass extinction ended their reign. In their place, birds and then mammals ascended. And now humans have emerged. But even with all our intelligence and technology, we still don’t really understand what causes extinctions or radiations. One of the big mysteries associated with these phenomena is also a Read More ›