The End of Dinosaurs

The Cretaceous Extinction

Major Extinctions

Around five major extinctions have occurred over Earth’s history. Some of the extinctions greatly affected the animals and plants on land, while other extinctions mainly occurred in the oceans. Most of the major extinctions are based on the fossil record, and usually indicate a time when a large percent of the plants and animals living on Earth went extinct, usually for unknown reasons. The following lists some of the known major extinctions on the geologic time scale:

Time Period Date (millions of years ago) Percent of Species Extinct (approximate)
Cambrian-Ordovician 438 84%
Devonian-Carboniferous 360 82%
Permian-Triassic 250 97%
Triassic-Jurassic 208 76%
Cretaceous-Tertiary   65 85%


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