Paleophysiology and end-permian mass extinction

Knoll A. H., Bambach R. K., Payne J. L., Pruss S. & Fischer W. W., 2007. Paleophysiology and end-Permian mass extinction. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 256:295-313.

Physiological research aimed at understanding current global change provides a basis for evaluating selective survivorship associated with Permo-Triassic mass extinction. …


Physiological research aimed at understanding current global change provides a basis for evaluating selective survivorship associated with Permo-Triassic mass extinction. Comparative physiology links paleontological and paleoenvironmental observations, supporting the hypothesis that an end-Permian trigger, most likely Siberian Trap volcanism, touched off a set of physically-linked perturbations that acted synergistically to disrupt the metabolisms of latest Permian organisms. Global warming, anoxia, and toxic sulfide probably all contributed to end-Permian mass mortality, but hypercapnia (physiological effects of elevated PCO2) best accounts for the selective survival of marine invertebrates Paleophysiological perspectives further suggest that persistent or recurring hypercapnia/global warmth also played a principal role in delayed Triassic recovery. More generally, physiology provides an important way of paleobiological knowing in the age of Earth system science.

Knoll A. H., Bambach R. K., Payne J. L., Pruss S. & Fischer W. W., 2007. Paleophysiology and end-Permian mass extinction. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 256:295-313. Article.

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