What triggered the mass extinction 420 million years ago?


Scientists working at Florida State University have identified the cause of mass extinction that took place 420 million years ago, destroying 23 per cent of marine life. According to scientists, this mass extinction is due to the decline in oxygen in the ocean waters.

Our planet, which we live on today and deplete its resources as if it were limitless, has spent millions of years until it became the most suitable for humanity. In the millions of years the Earth has gone through, many major events have taken place. One of these events took place 420 million years ago.

In a process called the Silurian Period, a mass extinction took place on Earth. In this mysterious event, 23 percent of the world's marine life was completely destroyed. Now, scientists have solved the cause of this mysterious event. According to scientists, the reason for this disappearance is related to oxygen, which is the most basic necessity of life.

mass extinction

There have been mass extinctions on our planet so far. Volcanic eruptions and meteorites were the main reasons behind these events. However, there has been no logical reason for this mass extinction 420 million years ago.

In order to find the cause of this mass extinction 420 million years ago, scientists working at Florida State University measured thallium isotopes, manganese concentration and sulfur isotopes in areas such as Latvia and Sweden. Scientists used advanced geochemical methods to make these measurements.


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To date, scientists have been aware that the massive extinction of 420 million years ago emitted a huge amount of organic matter to nature, causing climate change, and even disruptions in the Earth's carbon cycle. The researches have confirmed both the available data and the cause of this incident.

According to the studies of the research team, the reason for the incident was the decrease in the oxygen level in the ocean waters. Scientists have discovered a clear link between the extinction of 23 percent of marine life and the reduction of oxygen in the oceans.

Scientists, who have made statements on the subject, think that the findings from their new work can be associated with major reductions in today's biodiversity and that they can interpret future climate scenarios.