Palaeozoic life was severely affected in a pair of mass extinction events at the beginning (earliest Lopingian, 260 million years ago) and the end (251 million years ago) of the Late Permian. However, the biological and geochemical record of the earliest Lopingian crisis remains poorly constrained. We present analyses of strata in South China showing that a negative anomaly of stable carbon isotope ratios accompanied an abrupt extinction of marine faunas at the beginning of the Late Permian, similar to patterns observed at the end-Permian and the end-Cretaceous (65 million years ago) extinction events.
- Mass extinctions
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Earth-Surface Processes