Land animal mass extinction occurs in a cycle of 27 million years.
About 66 million years ago, a giant asteroid struck what is now known as Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, causing the sudden extinction of more than 75 percent of Earth’s plant and animal species.
250 million years ago, the Permian-Triassic extinction event, also known as the “Great Dying”, wiped out 95% of marine species and 70% of terrestrial species at that time.
3 of the massive species killings on land and in the sea, have taken place at the same time as the 3 largest impacts of the past 250 million years, each capable of causing a global disaster and resulting in extinctions.
Land animal mass extinction, inclusive of birds, reptiles, amphibians and mammals, occurs once every 27 million years, according to a new study. These mass extinctions align with major asteroid impacts and devastating volcanic lava spills, known as basalt flood eruptions.
Possibly the best-known mass extinction event was 66 million years ago, when 70 percent of all species on land and seas, including dinosaurs, suddenly became extinct.
American researchers conducted statistical analyzes on the dates of 10 recognized land animal mass extinction events that wiped out any tetrapod – animals with four limbs. The researchers suggest they could be dictated by Earth’s orbit in the Milky Way, triggering comet showers that have the potential to wipe out all life on our plane.
The last land animal mass extinction, although “relatively small”, Torton-Messin, was 7.25 million years ago, so the next one “could be about 20 million years in the future,” said Professor Rampino.
The researchers detected an underlying “statistically significant” frequency of mass extinctions somewhere in the region of 27.5 million years. The most recent land animal mass extinction the researchers refer to, was 7.25 million years ago, suggesting that we don’t expect another for 20 million years.