Mass Extinction Cycles

Cycles in all the Earth sciences

Mass Extinction Cycles

Postby RayTomes » 02 Aug 2010, 23:34

I watched this very interesting presentation by Richard Muller yesterday: ... sity-7478/

Lecture Description
Discovery of Strong Cycles in Fossil Diversity

Richard Muller, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, UC Berkeley

Richard Muller and his collaborators have recently analyzed the most complete record of marine animal fossils ever compiled, the "Compendium" of Jack Sepkoski, which lists all known fossil marine animal genera back 542 million years. When the fossil diversity (number of distinct genera) is plotted, it shows a very strong 62 Myr cycle. The cycle is particularly evident in the species that endured for relatively short times, as shown in the diagram below (published in Nature, vol 434, 208-210, 10 March 2005).

Highly recommended.
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