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Mass Extinction Event 2 Billion Years Ago Killed 99% of Life on Earth, Study Finds

Some two billion years ago, a significant decline of once-abundant oxygen killed as much as 99 percent of all life on Earth in a mass extinction event larger than the one responsible for the dinosaur die-off.  Publishing their work in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a team of researchers describe the catalyst of the Great Oxidation Event (GOE) that occurred between 2.05 and 2.4 billion years ago. In the years leading up to the GOE, oxygen levels in the Earth's atmosphere had increased significantly, resulting in the multiplication of ancient minuscule microorganisms. Suddenly, oxygen levels plummeted in what soon became one of the "most transformative events in all of Earth's history," shifting from "feast" to "famine" conditions that followed in the next 1 billion years, paving the way for complex life as we know it today.  Read more....

 

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