List of extinction events


This is a list of extinction events, both mass and minor:[1]

  Major extinction events (see graphic)
Extinction intensity.svgCambrianOrdovicianSilurianDevonianCarboniferousPermianTriassicJurassicCretaceousPaleogeneNeogene
Marine extinction intensity during the Phanerozoic
Millions of years ago
Extinction intensity.svgCambrianOrdovicianSilurianDevonianCarboniferousPermianTriassicJurassicCretaceousPaleogeneNeogene
The blue graph shows the apparent percentage (not the absolute number) of marine animal genera becoming extinct during any given time interval. It does not represent all marine species, just those that are readily fossilized. The labels of the traditional "Big Five" extinction events and the more recently recognised Capitanian mass extinction event are clickable links; see Extinction event for more details. (source and image info)
Period or supereon Extinction Date Probable causes[2]
Quaternary Holocene extinction c. 10,000 BC – Ongoing Humans[3]
Quaternary extinction event 640,000, 74,000, and
13,000 years ago
Unknown; may include climate changes, massive volcanic eruptions and Humans (largely by human overhunting)[4][5][6]
Neogene Pliocene–Pleistocene boundary extinction 2 Ma Possible causes include a supernova[7][8] or the Eltanin impact[9][10]
Middle Miocene disruption 14.5 Ma Climate change due to change of ocean circulation patterns. Milankovitch cycles may have also contributed[11]
Paleogene Eocene–Oligocene extinction event 33.9 Ma Multiple causes including global cooling, polar glaciation, falling sea levels, and the Popigai impactor[12]
Cretaceous Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event 66 Ma Chicxulub impactor; the volcanism which resulted in the formation of the Deccan Traps may have contributed.[13]
Cenomanian-Turonian boundary event 94 Ma Most likely underwater volcanism associated with the Caribbean large igneous province, which would have caused global warming and acidic oceans[14]
Aptian extinction 117 Ma Unknown, but may be due to volcanism of the Rajmahal Traps[15]
Jurassic End-Jurassic (Tithonian) extinction 145 Ma Impactor and/or Volcanism?[16]
Toarcian turnover 183 Ma Formation of the Karoo-Ferrar Igneous Provinces[17]
Triassic Triassic–Jurassic extinction event 201 Ma Possible causes include gradual climate changes, volcanism from the Central Atlantic magmatic province[18] or an impactor[19]
Carnian Pluvial Event 230 Ma Wrangellia flood basalts,[20] or the uplift of the Cimmerian orogeny
Permian Permian–Triassic extinction event 252 Ma Unknown. Possibilities include volcanism from the Siberian Traps,[21] an impact event (the Wilkes Land Crater),[22] an Anoxic event,[23] an Ice age,[24] or other possible causes
End-Capitanian extinction event 260 Ma Volcanism from the Emeishan Traps,[25] resulting in global cooling and other effects
Olson's Extinction 270 Ma Unknown. Possibly a change in climate.
Carboniferous Carboniferous rainforest collapse 305 Ma Possiblities include a series of rapid changes in climate, or volcanism of the Skagerrak-Centered Large Igneous Province[26]
Devonian Late Devonian extinction 375–360 Ma Viluy Traps;[27] Woodleigh Impactor?[2]
Silurian Lau event 420 Ma Changes in sea level and chemistry?[28]
Mulde event 424 Ma Global drop in sea level?[29]
Ireviken event 428 Ma Deep-ocean anoxia;[30] Milankovitch cycles?[31]
Ordovician Ordovician–Silurian extinction events 450–440 Ma Global cooling and sea level drop, possibly caused by a Gamma-ray burst,[32] or global warming related to volcanism and anoxia[33]
Cambrian Cambrian–Ordovician extinction event 488 Ma Kalkarindji Large Igneous Province?[34]
Dresbachian extinction event 502 Ma
End-Botomian extinction event 517 Ma
Precambrian End-Ediacaran extinction 542 Ma Anoxic event[35]
Great Oxygenation Event 2400 Ma Rising oxygen levels in the atmosphere due to the development of photosynthesis as well as possible Snowball Earth event. (see: Huronian glaciation.)



  1. ^ Partial list from Image:Extinction Intensity.png
  2. ^ a b Bond, David P. G.; Grasby, Stephen E. (2017-07-15). "On the causes of mass extinctions". Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. Mass Extinction Causality: Records of Anoxia, Acidification, and Global Warming during Earth's Greatest Crises. 478: 3–29. Bibcode:2017PPP...478....3B. doi:10.1016/j.palaeo.2016.11.005. ISSN 0031-0182.
  3. ^ Ripple WJ, Wolf C, Newsome TM, Galetti M, Alamgir M, Crist E, Mahmoud MI, Laurance WF (13 November 2017). "World Scientists' Warning to Humanity: A Second Notice". BioScience. 67 (12): 1026–1028. doi:10.1093/biosci/bix125. Moreover, we have unleashed a mass extinction event, the sixth in roughly 540 million years, wherein many current life forms could be annihilated or at least committed to extinction by the end of this century.
  4. ^ Sandom, Christopher; Faurby, Søren; Sandel, Brody; Svenning, Jens-Christian (4 June 2014). "Global late Quaternary megafauna extinctions linked to humans, not climate change". Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 281 (1787): 20133254. doi:10.1098/rspb.2013.3254. PMC 4071532. PMID 24898370.
  5. ^ Vignieri, S. (25 July 2014). "Vanishing fauna (Special issue)". Science. 345 (6195): 392–412. Bibcode:2014Sci...345..392V. doi:10.1126/science.345.6195.392. PMID 25061199. Although some debate persists, most of the evidence suggests that humans were responsible for extinction of this Pleistocene fauna, and we continue to drive animal extinctions today through the destruction of wild lands, consumption of animals as a resource or a luxury, and persecution of species we see as threats or competitors.
  6. ^ Oppenheimer, Clive (2002-08-01). "Limited global change due to the largest known Quaternary eruption, Toba ≈74kyr BP?". Quaternary Science Reviews. 21 (14): 1593–1609. Bibcode:2002QSRv...21.1593O. doi:10.1016/S0277-3791(01)00154-8. ISSN 0277-3791.
  7. ^ Benitez, Narciso; et al. (2002). "Evidence for Nearby Supernova Explosions". Phys. Rev. Lett. 88 (8): 081101. arXiv:astro-ph/0201018. Bibcode:2002PhRvL..88h1101B. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.88.081101. PMID 11863949. S2CID 41229823.
  8. ^ Fimiani, L.; Cook, D.L.; Faestermann, T.; Gómez-Guzmán, J.M.; Hain, K.; Herzog, G.; Knie, K.; Korschinek, G.; Ludwig, P.; Park, J.; Reedy, R.C.; Rugel, G. (13 April 2016). "Interstellar 60Fe on the Surface of the Moon". Physical Review Letters. 116 (15): 151104. Bibcode:2016PhRvL.116o1104F. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.116.151104. PMID 27127953.
  9. ^ "Pliocene-Pleistocene boundary: did Eltanin asteroid kickstart the ice ages?". Archived from the original on 2017-10-03. Retrieved 2019-01-18.
  10. ^ "Did a Killer Asteroid Drive the Planet Into An Ice Age?". Universe Today. 20 September 2012.
  11. ^ Holbourn, Ann; Kuhnt, Wolfgang; Schulz, Michael; Erlenkeuser, Helmut (2005). "Impacts of orbital forcing and atmospheric carbon dioxide on Miocene ice-sheet expansion". Nature. 438 (7067): 483–87. Bibcode:2005Natur.438..483H. doi:10.1038/nature04123. PMID 16306989. S2CID 4406410.
  12. ^ "Russia's Popigai Meteor Crash Linked to Mass Extinction". June 13, 2014.
  13. ^ Brusatte, Steve (2018). The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs. London: Picador. pp. 328–35. ISBN 978-1-5098-3009-1.
  14. ^ David Bond; Paul Wignall. "Large igneous provinces and mass extinctions: An update" (PDF). p. 17. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-01-24.
  15. ^ Singh, A. P.; Kumar, Niraj; Singh, Bijendra (2004). "Magmatic underplating beneath the Rajmahal Traps:Gravity signature and derived 3-D configuration.Proc". Indian Acad. Sci. (Earth Planet. Sci: 759–769. CiteSeerX
  16. ^ Tennant, Jonathan P.; Mannion, Philip D.; Upchurch, Paul; Sutton, Mark D.; Price, Gregory D. (2017). "Biotic and environmental dynamics through the Late Jurassic–Early Cretaceous transition: evidence for protracted faunal and ecological turnover". Biological Reviews. 92 (2): 776–814. doi:10.1111/brv.12255. ISSN 1469-185X. PMC 6849608. PMID 26888552.
  17. ^ József Pálfy; Paul L. Smith (2000). "Synchrony between Early Jurassic extinction, oceanic anoxic event, and the Karoo-Ferrar flood basalt volcanism". Geology. 28 (8): 747–750. Bibcode:2000Geo....28..747P. doi:10.1130/0091-7613(2000)28<747:SBEJEO>2.0.CO;2.
  18. ^ Blackburn, Terrence J.; Olsen, Paul E.; Bowring, Samuel A.; McLean, Noah M.; Kent, Dennis V; Puffer, John; McHone, Greg; Rasbury, Troy; Et-Touhami7, Mohammed (2013). "Zircon U-Pb Geochronology Links the End-Triassic Extinction with the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province". Science. 340 (6135): 941–45. Bibcode:2013Sci...340..941B. CiteSeerX doi:10.1126/science.1234204. PMID 23519213. S2CID 15895416.
  19. ^ Onoue, Tetsuji; Sato, Honami; Yamashita, Daisuke; Ikehara, Minoru; Yasukawa, Kazutaka; Fujinaga, Koichiro; Kato, Yasuhiro; Matsuoka, Atsushi (8 July 2016). "Bolide impact triggered the Late Triassic extinction event in equatorial Panthalassa". Scientific Reports. 6 (29609): 29609. Bibcode:2016NatSR...629609O. doi:10.1038/srep29609. PMC 4937377. PMID 27387863.
  20. ^ Dal Corso, J.; Mietto, P.; Newton, R.J.; Pancost, R.D.; Preto, N.; Roghi, G.; Wignall, P.B. (2012). "Discovery of a major negative δ13C spike in the Carnian (Late Triassic) linked to the eruption of Wrangellia flood basalts". Geology. 40 (1): 79–82. Bibcode:2012Geo....40...79D. doi:10.1130/g32473.1.
  21. ^ Campbell, I; Czamanske, G.; Fedorenko, V.; Hill, R.; Stepanov, V. (1992). "Synchronism of the Siberian Traps and the Permian-Triassic Boundary". Science. 258 (5089): 1760–63. Bibcode:1992Sci...258.1760C. doi:10.1126/science.258.5089.1760. PMID 17831657. S2CID 41194645.
  22. ^ von Frese, R; Potts, L.; Wells, S.; Leftwich, T.; Kim, H. (2009). "GRACE gravity evidence for an impact basin in Wilkes Land, Antarctica". Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems. 10 (2): n/a. Bibcode:2009GGG....10.2014V. doi:10.1029/2008GC002149.
  23. ^ Wignall, P; Twitchett, R (2002). "Extent, duration, and nature of the Permian-Triassic superanoxic event". In Christian Koeberl; Kenneth G. MacLeod (eds.). Catastrophic events and mass extinctions: impacts and beyond. Geological Society of America. p. 396. doi:10.1130/0-8137-2356-6.395. ISBN 978-0813723563.
  24. ^ Ice age, not warming, explains Permian-Triassic extinction event -
  25. ^ Bond, David P.G.; Wignall, Paul B. (2014-09-01). Bond.pdf "Large igneous provinces and mass extinctions: An update" Check |url= value (help) (PDF). Geological Society of America Special Papers. 505: 29–55. doi:10.1130/2014.2505(02). ISBN 9780813725055. ISSN 0072-1077.
  26. ^ Doblas, Miguel; R., OYARZUN; J., LOPEZ-RUIZ; J.M., CEBRIA; Youbi, Nasrrddine; V., MAHECHA; Lago San José, Marceliano; POCOVI; B., CABANIS (1998-12-01). "Permo-Carboniferous Volcanism in Europe and North Africa: a Superplume exhaust valve in The Center of Pangea". Journal of African Earth Sciences. 26: 89–99. doi:10.1016/S0899-5362(97)00138-3.
  27. ^ Ricci, J; et al. (2013). "New 40Ar/39Ar and K–Ar ages of the Viluy traps (Eastern Siberia): Further evidence for a relationship with the Frasnian–Famennian mass extinction". Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. 386: 531–40. doi:10.1016/j.palaeo.2013.06.020.
  28. ^ Jeppsson, L. (1998). "Silurian oceanic events: summary of general characteristics". In Landing, E.; Johnson, M.E. (eds.). Silurian Cycles: Linkages of Dynamic Stratigraphy with Atmospheric, Oceanic and Tectonic Changes. James Hall Centennial Volume. New York State Museum Bulletin. 491. pp. 239–57.
  29. ^ Jeppsson, L.; Calner, M. (2007). "The Silurian Mulde Event and a scenario for secundo – secundo events". Earth and Environmental Science Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. 93 (2): 135–54. doi:10.1017/s0263593300000377. S2CID 129308139.
  30. ^ Munnecke, Axel; Samtleben, Christian; Bickert, Torsten (5 June 2003). "The Ireviken Event in the lower Silurian of Gotland, Sweden - relation to similar Palaeozoic and Proterozoic events". Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. 195 (1–2): 119. Bibcode:2003PPP...195...99M. doi:10.1016/S0031-0182(03)00304-3.
  31. ^ Jeppsson, L (1997). "The anatomy of the Mid-Early Silurian Ireviken Event and a scenario for P-S events". In Brett, C.E.; Baird, G.C. (eds.). Paleontological Events: Stratigraphic, Ecological, and Evolutionary Implications. New York: Columbia University Press. pp. 451–92.
  32. ^ Melott, A.L.; et al. (2004). "Did a gamma-ray burst initiate the late Ordovician mass extinction?". International Journal of Astrobiology. 3 (1): 55–61. arXiv:astro-ph/0309415. Bibcode:2004IJAsB...3...55M. doi:10.1017/S1473550404001910. S2CID 13124815.
  33. ^ Bond, David P.G.; Grasby, Stephen E. (18 May 2020). "Late Ordovician mass extinction caused by volcanism, warming, and anoxia, not cooling and glaciation". Geology. 48 (8): 777–781. Bibcode:2020Geo....48..777B. doi:10.1130/G47377.1.
  34. ^ Ware, Bryant D.; Jourdan, Fred; Merle, Renaud; Chiaradia, Massimo; Hodges, Kyle (2018-04-01). "The Kalkarindji Large Igneous Province, Australia: Petrogenesis of the Oldest and Most Compositionally Homogenous Province of the Phanerozoic". Journal of Petrology. 59 (4): 635–665. Bibcode:2018JPet...59..635W. doi:10.1093/petrology/egy040. ISSN 0022-3530.
  35. ^ Extensive marine anoxia during the terminal Ediacaran Period - Science Advances