List of extinction events

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This is a list of extinction events:[1]

Period or supereon Extinction Date Possible causes
Quaternary Holocene extinction c. 10,000 BCE – Ongoing Humans[2]
Quaternary extinction event 640,000, 74,000, and 13,000 years ago Unknown; may include climate changes, massive volcanic eruptions and human overhunting[3][4]
Neogene Pliocene–Pleistocene boundary extinction 2 Ma Supernova?[5][6] Eltanin impact?[7][8]
Middle Miocene disruption 14.5 Ma climate change due to change of ocean circulation patterns and perhaps related to the Milankovitch cycles?[9]
Paleogene Eocene–Oligocene extinction event 33.9 Ma Popigai impactor?[10]
Cretaceous Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event 66 Ma Chicxulub impactor;[11] Deccan Traps?[12]
Cenomanian-Turonian boundary event 94 Ma Caribbean large igneous province[13]
Aptian extinction 117 Ma
Jurassic End-Jurassic (Tithonian) extinction 145 Ma
Toarcian turnover 183 Ma Karoo-Ferrar Provinces[14]
Triassic Triassic–Jurassic extinction event 201 Ma Central Atlantic magmatic province;[15] impactor
Carnian Pluvial Event 230 Ma Wrangellia flood basalts[16]
Permian Permian–Triassic extinction event 252 Ma Siberian Traps;[17] Wilkes Land Crater;[18] Anoxic event
End-Capitanian extinction event 260 Ma Emeishan Traps?[19]
Olson's Extinction 270 Ma
Carboniferous Carboniferous rainforest collapse 305 Ma
Devonian Late Devonian extinction 375–360 Ma Viluy Traps[20]
Silurian Lau event 420 Ma Changes in sea level and chemistry?[21]
Mulde event 424 Ma Global drop in sea level?[22]
Ireviken event 428 Ma Deep-ocean anoxia; Milankovitch cycles?[23]
Ordovician Ordovician–Silurian extinction events 450–440 Ma Global cooling and sea level drop; Gamma-ray burst?[24]
Cambrian Cambrian–Ordovician extinction event 488 Ma
Dresbachian extinction event 502 Ma
End-Botomian extinction event 517 Ma
Precambrian End-Ediacaran extinction 542 Ma
Great Oxygenation Event 2400 Ma Rising oxygen levels in the atmosphere due to the development of photosynthesis


  1. ^ Partial list from Image:Extinction Intensity.png
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ Vignieri, S. (25 July 2014). "Vanishing fauna (Special issue)". Science. 345 (6195): 392–412. 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.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ "Pliocene-Pleistocene boundary: did Eltanin asteroid kickstart the ice ages?".
  8. ^ "Did a Killer Asteroid Drive the Planet Into An Ice Age?". Universe Today. 20 September 2012.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ "Russia's Popigai Meteor Crash Linked to Mass Extinction". June 13, 2014.
  11. ^ Randall, Lisa (2015). Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs. New York: Ecco/HarperCollins Publishers. pp. 196–217. ISBN 978-0-06-232847-2.
  12. ^ Keller G. (2012). "The Cretaceous–Tertiary Mass Extinction, Chicxulub Impact, and Deccan Volcanism. Earth and Life". In Talent JA. Earth and Life: Global Biodiversity, Extinction Intervals and Biogeographic Perturbations Through Time. Springer. pp. 759–93. ISBN 978-9048134274.
  13. ^ David Bond; Paul Wignall. "Large igneous provinces and mass extinctions: An update" (PDF). p. 17. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-01-24.
  14. ^ 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. doi:10.1130/0091-7613(2000)28<747:SBEJEO>2.0.CO;2.
  15. ^ 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.
  16. ^ 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.
  17. ^ 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.
  18. ^ 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.
  19. ^ Bond, David P.G.; Wignall, Paul B. (2014-09-01). "Large igneous provinces and mass extinctions: An update". Geological Society of America Special Papers. 505: 29–55. doi:10.1130/2014.2505(02). ISSN 0072-1077.
  20. ^ 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.
  21. ^ Jeppsson, L. (1998). "Silurian oceanic events: summary of general characteristics". In Landing, E.; Johnson, M.E. 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.
  22. ^ 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.
  23. ^ 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. Paleontological Events: Stratigraphic, Ecological, and Evolutionary Implications. New York: Columbia University Press. pp. 451–92.
  24. ^ 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.