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Teaching Documents about Mass Extinction Events
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What is Palaeontology or Palaeobiology?
Teaching Documents about Palaeontology and Palaeoecology
Teaching Documents about Ichnology
Teaching Documents about Ecology
Teaching Documents about Taphonomy
Teaching Documents about Plant Anatomy
Teaching Documents about Wood Anatomy and Tree-Ring Research
Teaching Documents about Botany
Teaching Documents about Biology
Teaching Documents about Evolution
Teaching Documents about Mass Extinction
Teaching Documents about Classification and Nomenclature
Teaching Documents about Cladistics and Phylogeny
Teaching Documents about Palaeogeography
Teaching Documents about Palaeoclimate
Teaching Documents about Stratigraphy and Historical Geology
Teaching Documents about Geochronological Methods
Introductions to Statistics
Meta Indexes of Online Education
Virtual Field Trips
! Web Sites about Mass Extinctions@
! The Mass Extinction at the End of the Permian@
! The Mass Extinction at the End of the Triassic@
! Biotic Recoveries from Mass Extinctions@
The Gaia Hypothesis@
Databases focused on Palaeobotany and Palaeontology@
Glossaries, Dictionaries and Encyclopedias: Palaeontology@
BBC Earth timeline.
Major mass extinctions.
Michael J. Benton, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol: Biodiversity on land and in the sea. PDF file (now via wayback archive), Geological Journal 36, 211-230.
M.J. Benton and D.A.T. Harper:
to Paleobiology and the Fossil Record.
! Companion Website: Introduction to Paleobiology and the Fossil Record. On this website you can download the figures in jpeg format at standard resolution (96 dpi) for viewing on screen and at a higher resolution (300 dpi) for downloading. They can also be downloaded as a Powerpoint file for each chapter.
! See also here (in PDF).
For better navigation note the table of contents (in PDF).
Donald L. Blanchard:
Changing Paleoclimates and Mass Extinctions.
6 pages about a new model for cyclic changes in climate over geological
Snapshot taken by the Internet Archive´s Wayback Machine.
! D.P.G. Bond and P. Wignall (2014): Large igneous provinces and mass extinctions: An update. PDF file, in: Keller, G., and Kerr, A.C., eds.: Volcanism, Impacts, and Mass Extinctions: Causes and Effects. Geological Society of America Special Paper 505.
The Bristol Palaeobiology Research Group ,
Dept. of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol, UK:
! The Permo-Triassic mass extinction and its aftermath.
! Derek Briggs and Peter Crowther (eds.), Earth Pages, Blackwell Publishing:
(PDF files). Snapshot now taken by the Internet Archive´s Wayback Machine.
Series of concise articles from over 150 leading authorities from around the world.
Navigate from the content file.
There are no restrictions on downloading this material. Excellent!
Worth checking out:
Part 1. Major Events in the History of Life, Pages 1-92.
Part 2. The Evolutionary Process and the Fossil Record, Pages 93-210.
Part 3. Taphonomy, Pages 211-304.
Part 4. Palaeoecology, Pages 305-414.
Part 5. Taxonomy, Phylogeny and Biostratigraphy, Pages 415-490.
Center for Astrobiology, Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA: PALEONTOLOGY (now via wayback archive). Lecture overheads and color slides. Go to: Lecture 7 Mass Extinction.
Chris (?), Peripatus Home Page, New Zealand: Paleontology Page, Extinction.
Board on Earth Sciences and Resources, Commission on Geosciences, Environment and Resources (CGER) 1995 (page images at NAP): Effects of Past Global Change on Life.
Susan Couch, Palaeontology Research Group, University of Bristol: Crazy Theories about Dinosaur Extinction 1850-1998.
! Vincent Courtillot (2003): Evolutionary catastrophes: the science of mass extinction. PDF file, 188 pages, Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing).
Richard Cowen, UC Davis: Tracking the Course of Evolution (hosted by UCMP), EXTINCTION. This Essay, written in 1999, is a chapter from the authors book "History of Life", published by Blackwell Science, Boston, Massachusetts, 2000.
! Douglas H. Erwin, Department of Paleobiology, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC: Lessons from the past: Biotic recoveries from mass extinctions. Colloquium Paper, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. (PNAS), USA, Vol. 98, Issue 10, 5399-5403, May 8, 2001.
! Google directory: Science > Earth Sciences > Paleontology > Extinction. This expired link is available through the Internet Archive´s Wayback Machine.
Life Sciences Outreach Program, Harvard University,
Teacher Materials, Evolution. Resources developed for classroom use by high school biology teachers. See especially:
Diane Robinson, Mass Extinction. Powerpoint presentation.
Thomas R. Holtz, Jr., Department of Geology, University of Maryland: Dinosaurs: A Natural History. Lecture notes. See especially: The Cretaceous-Tertiary Extinction I: Definitions and Dramatis Personae.
Hooper Virtual Natural History Museum (named for now retired Dr.
Ken Hooper, a Carleton University micropaleontologist)
Department of Earth Sciences,
Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada).
The principle objective of this museum is to provide a state-of-the-art summary of items of
geological interest, emphasizing areas currently being studied by students and research faculty.
For some special topics you may navigate from here or from there (The archives).
! The End-Permian Mass Extinction.
! Extinctions: Cycles of Life and Death Through Time.
! Mass Extinctions Of The Phanerozoic Menu.
David Jablonski, Committee on Evolutionary Biology, Division of Biological Sciences, University of Chicago: Extinction: Past and present. PDF file, Nature 427: 589; 2004.
David Jablonski, Department of Geophysical Sciences, University of Chicago, IL: Lessons from the past: Evolutionary impacts of mass extinctions. Colloquium Paper, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. (PNAS), USA, Vol. 98, Issue 10, 5393-5398, May 8, 2001.
Kelber, K.-P. (2003): Sterben und Neubeginn im Spiegel der Paläofloren. PDF file (17 MB!), in German. Plant evolution, the fossil record of plants and the aftermath of mass extinction events. pp. 38-59, 212-215; In: Hansch, W. (ed.): Katastrophen in der Erdgeschichte - Wendezeiten des Lebens.- museo 19, Heilbronn.
Anne Kleinhenz, University of Dayton: Permian-Triassic Extinction. "The Mother of all Extinctions". Powerpoint presentation.
Bruce S. Lieberman and Roger Kaesler (2010):
Evolution and the Fossil Record. Book announcement (Wiley-Blackwell),
including table of contents.
The history of life and the patterns and processes of evolution are especially emphasized, as are the interconnections between our planet, its climate system, and its varied life forms. The book does not just describe the history of life, but uses actual examples from life’s history to illustrate important concepts and theories.
! Available in PDF from here. See especially:
PDF page 38: "Taphonomy."
PDF page 74: "Introduction to Evolution."
! PDF page 123: "Extinctions: The Legacy of the Fossil Record."
! PDF page 137: "The Permo-Triassic Mass Extinction—Causes and Consequences."
PDF page 227: "Life, Climate, and Geology."
PDF page 236: "Life Influencing Geology: the Form and Shape of Rivers and the Rocks they Leave Behind."
PDF page 242: "Plants, Oxygen, and Coal: More Examples of Life Affecting the Atmosphere and Geology."
! R. Lockwood (2008): Beyond the "Big Five" - Extinctions as Experiments in the History of Life. In PDF. In: From Evolution to Geobiology: Research Questions Driving Paleontology at the Start of a New Century, Paleontological Society Short Course, October 4, 2008. Paleontological Society Papers, Volume 14, Patricia H. Kelley and Richard K. Bambach. (Eds.).
C. V. Looy1, W. A. Brugman1, D. L. Dilcher2, and H. Visscher1. 1Laboratory of Palaeobotany and Palynology, Utrecht University; 2Paleobotany Laboratory, Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida, Gainesville: The delayed resurgence of equatorial forests after the Permian-Triassic ecologic crisis. PNAS Online, Vol. 96, Issue 24, 13857-13862, November 23, 1999.
McGill University Astrobiology Lecture Series: Comets and Asteroids and the Role of Mass Extinction in the Evolution of Life. Powerpoint presentation. See also here.
Stephen A. Nelson, Tulane University, New Orleans: Natural Disasters. An examination of the causes, effects, and options available to mitigate natural disasters, such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides, subsidence, flooding, severe weather, and meteorite impacts. Go to: Meteorites, Impacts, and Mass Extinction.
Peripatus Homepage (?): Extinction.
Hermann W. Pfefferkorn, Department of Earth and Environmental Science, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA: Commentary: Recuperation from Mass Extinctions. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 96.
Quizlet.com study tools:
! Search for Mass Extinction.
Hugh Rance, City University of New York: The Present is the Key to the Past. An electronic, college level, introductory historical geology textbook.
! D.M. Raup, PNAS Online: The Role of Extinction in Evolution. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol 91, 6758-6763. See also here (PDF).
! D.M. D.M. Raup and J.J. Sepkoski Jr. (1982): Mass extinctions in the marine fossil record. PDF file, Science.
Sue Rigby, Geology, Geophysics, Environmental Geoscience, Grant Institute, University of Edinburgh: COURSE MATERIALS. Go to: GEP COURSE MATERIALS, Lecture 6: Extinctions - a global environmental process. PDF file.
! J.J. Sepkoski (1998): Rates of speciation in the fossil record. In PDF, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, B, 353: 315-326.
Hartmut Seyfried und Reinhold Leinfelder, Institut für Geologie und Paläontologie, Universität Stuttgart: Meeresspiegelschwankungen - Ursachen, Folgen, Wechselwirkungen. In German. Go to: Meeresspiegel und biologische Krisen.
Roger Summons and
Tanja Bosak, MIT OpenCourseWare:
This expired link
is available through the Internet Archive´s
This course introduces the concept of life as a geological agent and examines the interaction between biology and the earth system during the roughly four billion years since life first appeared. Go to:
! Lecture Notes. See especially: Mass extinctions (PDF file).
Ralph E. Taggart, Department of Botany and Plant Pathology/Department of Geological Sciences at Michigan State University, East Lansing: BOT335 Lecture Schedule. K/T Boundary Impact Hypothesis.
Ellen Thomas, Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut: Biodiversity - Invasive Species - Mass Extinctions.
Han van Konijnenburg-van Cittert et al.: Vegetation successsion through the end-Permian ecologic crisis. (Powerpoint presentatation). See also here. Abstract, Workshop on Permian - Triassic Paleobotany and Palynology, June 16-18, 2005; Natural Science Museum of South Tyrol, Bolzano, Italy.
Bruce Walsh, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona: Extinction. Summary notes on the phenomena of extinction.
Geologie, ETH Zürich:
Bilder aus der Erdgeschichte.
PDF file, in German.
Now provided by the Internet Archive´s Wayback Machine.
WGBH Educational Foundation and Clear Blue Sky Productions, Inc.: Evolution, Patterns of Extinction.
! P.B. Wignall (2001): Large igneous provinces and mass extinctions. In PDF, Earth-Science Reviews, 53: 1-33.
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
! Extinction event
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