Full Title: The Permian Extinction and the Tethys: An Exercise in Global Geology
Authors: A.M. Celâl Sengör and Saniye Atayman
Understanding the cause of the extinction that wiped out some 95% of the living species at the end of the Paleozoic era has been one of the greatest problems in the earth and life sciences. All explanations so far proposed have been based on global causes. What has so far been overlooked, however, is that when the extinction occurred all landmasses had been together in one giant continent, Pangea, which completely enclosed an inner ocean, the Paleo-Tethys. This internal ocean included the richest niches in the late Permian world and the extinctions occurred within and around it, giving the decimation the aspect of a universal extinction. What little data we have from the rest of the world indicate that the same extinction did not happen there, except where it was polluted by Paleo-Tethyan spills. This book documents this history and shows that the Permian extinction was an expected result of the peculiarity of the global geography then.