Unmitigated due to the mass extinction that occurred at the end of the Permian about 252 million years ago it killed more than 90 percent of species on Earth.
It took millions of years for life’s biodiversity on Earth to recover back to pre-extinction levels.
However, based on examination of traces and burrows on the South China seabed, a combination of researchers from China, the United States and Britain managed to uncover which animals were the first to recover from the event and when it occurred.
Quoted from Independent, Thursday (30/6/2022) the research team said that the first animals to recover were deposit eaters such as worms and shrimp.
While the recovery of filter animals (suspension feeder) such as brachiopods, bryozoans, and many bivalves take longer.
“Maybe the deposit eaters make the seabed messy, so the water is polluted with mud. This makes the filter animals unable to settle properly on the seabed,” said Alison Cribb, a study researcher from the University of Southern California.
“Or the muddy water produced by deposit eaters simply clogs the filter animals’ water filtration structures, preventing them from feeding efficiently.”
Furthermore, the late Permian mass extinction and the restoration of life in the Early Triassic are well-documented throughout Southern China.
Researchers were able to see fossil traces of 26 parts across the entire event sequence, representing seven million significant years of time and showing details of 400 sampling points.
“We finally reconstructed the recovery stage of all animals including benthos, nekton, as soft-bodied burrowing animals in the ocean,” said Michael Benton, a researcher from the University of Bristol.
The researchers say the findings are important because the late Permian crisis was caused by global warming and ocean acidification. And the data reveal how resilient these soft-bodied animals are to CO2 and high heat.
The findings were published in the journal Science Advances.
About mass extinction
In the history of life on Earth, there have been five mass extinction events. Mass extinction which occurred 250 million years ago was the most severe extinction event on Earth.
Research suggests that a series of massive volcanic eruptions were the main cause of this horrific devastation.
As previously reported on Kompas.com, a massive volcanic eruption has caused an increase in volcanic ash, carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, which in turn causes ocean acidification.
On the other hand, clouds with sulfuric acid particles from volcanic ash also help block sunlight and cool the Earth’s surface, causing a drop in temperature worldwide.
Although the previous mass extinction was dominated by nature, now we also need to be vigilant, because the sixth mass extinction is also said to be stalking civilization. Not because of nature but because of our activities, humans.
Get updates news of choice and breaking news every day from Kompas.com. Let’s join the Telegram group “Kompas.com News Update”, how to click the link https://t.me/kompascomupdate, then join. You must first install the Telegram application on your cellphone.