There are 5 known mass extinctions, the last occurring 65 MYA. Today, we are going through the sixth mass extinction event with an estimated 27,000 species lost per year.
Ancient Reptiles. Ancient Sea Life. Recent Extinctions (1600 - 2020) The Arrival Of Animals Triggered Earth's First Mass Extinction. The first great extinction of life was caused by an evolutionary advance, rather than a catastrophe such as an asteroid strike or supervolcano, evidence from Namibia suggests.
The arrival of animals, with the newfangled advantage called movement, spelled doom for species trapped in one place. For three billion years, the only life on Earth was single-celled microbes. Around 600 million years ago, the first multi-celled organisms, known as the Ediacaran biota, appeared. Extinction event. The blue graph shows the apparent percentage (not the absolute number) of marine animalgenera becoming extinct during any given time interval.
It does not represent all marine species, just those that are readily fossilized. The labels of the "Big Five" extinction events are clickable hyperlinks; see Extinction event for more details. (source and image info) Since life began on Earth, several major mass extinctions have significantly exceeded the background extinction rate. CRACKED: 7 (Thankfully) Extinct Giant Versions of Modern Animals. The animal kingdom is loaded with some pretty formidable creatures, a few of which we as humans are only barely able to keep in line even with modern technology. As it turns out, many of these species are the diminutive descendents of giants so mind bogglingly huge and terrifying that they could probably take over the entire world with minimal effort. Meganeura, The Giant Dragonfly Meganeura were enormous dragonfly-like insects with wingspans the length of an average toddler, making them among the largest flying predatory insects in the history of the world.
Their diet consisted mainly of other insects, small amphibians and the dreams of children. Arthropleura. Arthropleura (Greek for Jointed Ribs) is a genus of extinct, 0.3–2.6 metre (1–8.5 feet) long arthropods related to modern day centipedes and millipedes, native to the upper Carboniferous (340 to 280 million years ago) of what is now northeastern North America and Scotland.
The larger species of the genera are the largest known land invertebrates of all time, and would have had few, if any predators. Description and behavior Reconstruction of A. armata. Contrary to earlier and popular beliefs, Arthropleura was not a predator but an herbivorous arthropod. Because none of the known fossils have the mouth preserved, scientists suppose that Arthropleura did not have strongly sclerotized and powerful mouth parts, because such would have been preserved at least in some of the fossils. Fossilized footprints from Arthropleura have been found in many places. In popular culture References External links
New Cause Behind Three Mysterious Mass Extinctions Revealed. Great American Interchange. Paleozoographic event resulting from the formation of the Isthmus of Panama Examples of migrant species in both Americas.
Olive green silhouettes denote North American species with South American ancestors; blue silhouettes denote South American species of North American origin. Cracked: Bizarre Prehistoric Versions of Modern Animals. Nobody ever cranks out a masterpiece in one sitting.
Not even Mother Nature gets it right the first time. If she did, then the prehistoric ages wouldn't have been filled with stupid and bizarre-looking prototypes of modern species that seemed doomed to fail from the start. Some of evolution's laughable early drafts include ... #7. Platybelodons, aka Elephants With Giant Trunk-Mouths. Beetle fossils show their colors. The fossils of beetles may open the door to understanding what exactly ancient organisms looked like.
Maria McNamara, a postdoctoral fellow in the Yale Department of Geology and Geophysics, used fossilized beetles to show how colors of insects have changed over time, adding to scientists’ understanding of ancient insects’ appearance. A Tiny Amphibian Trapped in Amber Is a New Species. The only known salamander from the Caribbean is preserved in a drop of golden sap that formed 20 million years ago.
This story ran in the April 2016 issue of National Geographic magazine. More than 20 million years ago a salamander hatchling less than three-quarters of an inch long met a traumatic end. A hungry predator—perhaps a spider or bird or snake—ripped off its left front leg, leaving the stub of a bone jutting from its side. The salamander managed to escape but then must have fallen into a pool of tree resin, which preserved the tiny amphibian as it hardened into amber. George Poinar, Jr., a biologist at Oregon State University who specializes in amber, believes he collected this specimen in the Dominican Republic years ago without realizing that it was unique.
It has since been identified as a new genus, based on visible physical features such as the large webbed front and back feet. . © 1996-2016 National Geographic Society. Buy Tickets.