Mass extinction refers to a rapid decrease in the biodiversity of earth. These events give rise to a completely new era.
The top five mass extinctions include:
- Ordovician Silurian Extinction: This occurred 440 million years ago which led to the extinction of small marine animals.
- Devonian Extinction: This occurred 365 million years ago that led to the extinction of tropical marine species.
- Permian-Triassic Extinction: This was the largest mass extinction that occurred 250 million years ago. This led to the extinction of a large number of species including the vertebrates.
- Triassic-Jurassic Extinction: This event occurred 210 million years ago and led to the extinction of several marine and terrestrial species. This extinction marked the advent of the Jurassic era.
- Cretaceous-tertiary Extinction: This event occurred some 66 million years ago that depleted 50% of plant and animal species.