How Many Mass Extinctions Have There Been?

published 4 years ago by Neptune Studios

Thanks to Audible for supporting this video. Get your free 30-day trial at Thanks also to our Patreon patrons: Today I Found Out, Maarten Bremer, Mark Roth, Jeff Straathof, Tony Fadell, Ahmed, Muhammad Shifaz, Vidhya Krishnaraj, Luka Leskovsek, Duhilio Patino, Alberto Bortoni, Valentin, Nicholas Buckendorf, and Antoine Coeur ___________________________________________ Want to learn more about the topic in this week’s video? Here are some keywords/phrases to get your googling started: – Mass Extinction Event: a significant, global decrease in the diversity of life – "Big 5": The five biggest mass extinction events since the Cambrian explosion of Life 550 million years ago – Biodiversity Crisis: Like a mass extinction, a biodiversity crisis is a marked depletion in diversity in the fossil record. Some scientists prefer to call the late-Devonian extinction a "biodiversity crisis" because a lack of speciation contributed to the loss in diversity just as much as extinction did. – Diversity curve: A line chart that shows the diversity of life (usually by genera, but sometimes by species or family) over time – Lagerstatte: a deposit of sedimentary rock that contains a profound number of fossils, often with excellent preservation – Shareholder Quorum Subsampling: A statistical method that corrects for some of the biases in the fossil record, allowing scientists to generate more accurate diversity curves ___________________________________________ Credits: Script Writer: Emily Elert (twitter:@eelert) Script Editor: Kate Yoshida (twitter:@KateYoshida) Video Illustrator: Ever Salazar (twitter:@eversalazar) Video Director: Emily Elert (twitter:@eelert) With Contributions From: Henry Reich (twitter:@minutephysics), Alex Reich (twitter:@alexhreich), Peter Reich Music by: Nathaniel Schroeder: _________________________________________ Like our videos? Subscribe to MinuteEarth on YouTube: And for exclusive early access to all our videos, sign up with Vessel: Already subscribed? Help us keep making MinuteEarth by supporting us on Patreon: Also, say hello on: Facebook: Twitter: And find us on itunes: ________________________ References: Alroy, J. (2015). Personal Communication. Alroy, J. (2008). Dynamics of origination and extinction in the marine fossil record. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 11536-11542. Retrieved April 8, 2015, from ... Alroy, J. (n.d.). Accurate and precise estimates of origination and extinction rates. Paleobiology, 40(3), 374-397. Retrieved September 20, 2015, from alroy/pdf... Benton, M. (2003). When life nearly died: The greatest mass extinction of all time. New York: Thames & Hudson. Barrett, Paul M. (2015). Personal Communication. Fossilworks: Gateway to the Paleobiology Database. Lloyd, GT, Smith, AB and Young, JR, (2011). Quantifying the deep-sea rock and fossil record bias using coccolithophores. Geological Society Special Publication, 358 (1), 167-177. Mcghee, G., Clapham, M., Sheehan, P., Bottjer, D., & Droser, M. (2013). A new ecological-severity ranking of major Phanerozoic biodiversity crises. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 370, 260-270. Raup, D. (1979). Biases in the fossil record of species and genera. Bulletin of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History 13: 85–91. Raup, D., & Sepkoski, J. (1982). Mass Extinctions in the Marine Fossil Record. Science, 215(4539), 1501-1503. Vermeij, GJ. (2015). Personal Communication.

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