Biological Enigmas

4 Feb 2010

Science Daily, November 20th 2009 ... palaeobiological researchers have found evidence that during mass extinction events that punctuate the history of life, open ocean marine life was more susceptible. The research involved an analysis of fossils from the palaeo biology database and concluded that different marine environments responded differently to whatever the agents of mass destruction might be - in other words there were more deep sea fossils than shallow sea life forms. What this means is not said in the condensed version of the article but the implication that might be inferred is that the oceans played an active role in the extinction events by emptying themselves upon the continental land masses. Shallow seas were not driven to overwash the nearby land forms to quite the same degree. What also emerges is that 3 of the big 5 extinction events, at least, involved major upheavals of the oceans - such as the end of Permian and the end of the Cretaceous, and it looks as if the Late Ordovician and Late Devonian events will yield a similar scenario.