When people think about mass extinctions, they often think about the one that wiped out the dinosaurs. However, even though the dinosaur extinction is the most famous mass extinction, it did not have the biggest body count. The mass extinction with the highest death toll took place right before the first dinosaurs evolved during the Permian Period. It was an event that came to be known as the Great Dying. Over ninety percent of all life on Earth was wiped out. Fossil records suggest that the Permian Period was a time of intense climate change that was caused by constant volcanic activity. The volcanic activity was so extreme that it produced enough lava to fill the Grand Canyon SEVEN TIMES!!! The volcanoes also released bountiful fumes into the atmosphere, which caused unstable climate change that superheated the planet and acid rain that devastated marine ecosystems. When the dust settled, the few surviving creatures were left with little competition and even fewer predators. As a result, some creatures became quite successful as the Earth healed itself. One such example is the mammal-like reptile known as Lystrosaurus, which eventually made up half of all large land animals for seven million years. However, even though these mammal-like reptiles would initially be successful, their group fell into decline until they died out completely shortly after the dinosaurs appeared. Overall, the Permian mass extinction was when life on Earth was almost extinguished. I am thinking of drawing inspiration from the Permian mass extinction for my dinosaur series, but the death toll for the book’s mass extinction will be higher.


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