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Paleontologists find extinction rates higher in open-ocean settings during mass extinctions
Date:11/19/2009

he same results, thereby making it clear that their results truly reflected a difference between epicontinental seas and open oceans.

"One clear outcome of our analyses is that different marine environments respond differently to agents of mass extinction," says Miller. "Given present-day concerns that physical agents such as the accelerated pace of global warming may be inducing a 'sixth' extinction, we might also ask whether some present-day marine settings are likely to be more susceptible than others to the effects of extinction-causing agents."

Although their results to date are compelling, Miller and Foote are not done. Among other things, they intend to extend their analyses back through the entire Paleozoic Era, when epicontinental seas were at their zenith. They will be especially interested in the response of the marine biota to the other two of The Big Five mass extinctions: the Late Ordovician and Late Devonian events.


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Contact: Wendy Beckman
wendy.beckman@uc.edu
513-556-1826
University of Cincinnati
Source:Eurekalert  

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