Rock peeling off continents may have triggered biggest mass extinction
The largest known mass extinction may have been triggered by events deep inside Earth.
Hundreds of millions of years ago, when the continents collided to form a single supercontinent, huge amounts of material may have detached from their undersides, causing hot molten rock to rise up and trigger enormous volcanic eruptions.
There is strong evidence that massive volcanic eruptions were responsible for the Permian extinction 252 million years ago, which wiped out at least 80 per cent of species. These eruptions heated up the climate and caused the oceans …