Were Microbes The Reason That Caused Mass Extinction?

Were Microbes The Reason That Caused Mass Extinction? www.ambitionias.com
  • The largest mass extinction in Earth’s history was due to methane-producing microbe.
  • Around 90% of all species on earth were wiped out 252 million years ago,as seen through fossil remains.
  • To reveal the culprit, evidence has been found by MIT researchers and to examine the killers they would require a microscope.
  • The earlier implicated perpetrators asteroids, volcanoes or raging coal fires were not responsible. Rather,a form of microbes,methane-producing Archaea called "Methanosarcina" were the cause which suddenly explode in ocean, spewing huge amount of methane into atmosphere, changing the climate and chemistry of the oceans.
  • Geochemical evidence - there was increase of carbon dioxide in the oceans at end-Permian extinction.
  • Genetic evidence - a change in "Methanosarcina", previously an accumulator of carbon dioxide,became a emitter of methane.
  • Sediments evidence - sudden increase in the amount of nickel deposited at that time.

Exams Perspective:

  1. Asteroids
  2. Methanosarcina
  3. Reasons for Mass Extinction of Species