Extinctions in Deep Time

  • Peter J. Mayhew
Chapter

Abstract

Deep time is geologic time, extending to the origin of the planet. For biologists in search of an understanding of extinction, the relevant portion of deep time is that in which life has existed on the planet— about the last 4 billion years (Cowen, 2000). Extinctions are first recorded when the fossil record is robust enough to offer insights into the arrival and disappearance of groups of organisms (Benton and Harper, 2009). Extinctions in deep time can therefore be identified only over about the last 600 million years, an interval of time dominated by the Phanerozoic eon (540 million years ago to present).

Keywords

Mass Extinction Extinction Rate Taxonomic Richness Large Igneous Province Continental Drift 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Island Press 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter J. Mayhew
    • 1
  1. 1.University of YorkYorkUK

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