KGS Home >
Earth Science Education
Mass Extinction Web Sites
, Hooper Virtual Museum. Choose from a list of mass extinctions and discover the likely causes for each.
Wikipedia. Online encyclopedia article on extinctions. Good descriptions of the main mass extinctions and possible causes for each, as well as a summary of the evidence for extinction cycles.
, Enchanted Learning Software®. Provides general information and colorful graphics about mass extinction that killed the dinosaurs, which are aimed at K-12 students. The asteroid theory for the Cretaceous extinction is highlighted, but the site also discusses other theories for the dinosaur's extinctions and explains how scientists study and test these theories.
When Life Nearly Came to an End
, National Geographic. Short description of article about the end-of-Permian extinction, with a picture gallery and a map of the supercontinent Pangea.
The Day the Earth Nearly Died
, BBC Science. Summary of the theory that increased vulcanism in the Siberian Traps (the largest volcanic outpouring of all time) and subsequent climate change was the primary cause of the end-of-Permian extinction.
Theories on the Triassic-Jurassic extinction,
Bristol University. Excellent, short summaries and comparisons of theories for the Triassic-Jurassic mass extinction, including fluctuating sea levels, bolide impact, volcanic eruptions, and the possibility that there wasn't a mass extinction. The section "Why Do We Think There Was an Extinction?" summarizes the evidence for a mass extinction.
DinoBuzz--What Killed the Dinosaurs?
University of California, Berkeley. This site provides a description of mass extinctions, what types of animals and plants died during the Cretaceous extinction, and an interesting list that shows how scientists test extinction hypotheses. A section on Invalid Hypotheses discusses theories that most scientists no longer believe in. The Current Arguments section discusses the many different theories that are presently debated concerning the Cretaceous extinction, their common ground, and their differences
25 years of mass extinctions and impacts: Lucas, S., Geotimes. Easy to read, short discussion of the history of the concept of mass extinctions, followed by summaries of the “Big 5” mass extinctions and their possible causes.
Some key references (technical articles)
Compilations of multiple research papers
See also Late Ordovician mass extinction
See also Late Devonian mass extinction
See also Late Permian mass extinction http://www.uky.edu/KGS/education/EndPermian.htm
See also Late Triassic mass extinction http://www.uky.edu/KGS/education/EndTriassic.htm
See also Late Cretaceous mass extinction http://www.uky.edu/KGS/education/dinoextinction.htm
Return to Key to Earth Science Standards
Return to Key Earth Science Links-Alphabetical Topics List
Return to Earth Science Education Page
Return to Kentucky Geological Survey Home Page