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Dr. Michael Rampino, "What caused the largest mass extinction ever?"

Date: 03/02/06
Time: 4-5:30 with 3:30 reception
Audience: Public
Sponsored By: School of Science and Engineering
Location: Coykendall Science Building Auditorium
Contact: David Clark, x3524,

Multicellular life on Earth is divided between the Paleozoic, Mesozoic and Cenozoic periods; each of which ended with cataclysmic events that resulted in global mass extinctions. The reign of the dinosaurs was terminated in a dramatic extinction at the end of the Mesozoic, 65 million years ago, which is commonly attributed to a meteor impact in the Yucatan. But the largest global extinction ever was the Permian Extinction at the end of the Paleozoic, some 250 million years ago, which is believed to have extinguished 95% of the living aquatic species. Due to the vast amount of time that has elapsed, the cause of this event remains clouded in mystery and controversy. Dr. Rampino will outline the relevant arguments and the evidence that he himself has gathered to help unravel this mystery.