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When Life Nearly Died By Michael J. Benton

When Life Nearly Died
by Michael J. Benton

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As well as documenting the mass extinction that took place at the end of the Permian period, around 251 million years ago, this volume also presents a history of developing ideas and explains how we know what we know about geology and palaeontology.
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When Life Nearly Died Summary

When Life Nearly Died: The Greatest Mass Extinction of All Time by Michael J. Benton

There have been five big mass extinctions in the history of the Earth. One 65 million years ago wiped out the dinosaurs, but the greatest of all happened around 251 million years ago, at the end of the Permian period. In this cataclysm at least 90 per cent of life was killed, both on land and in the sea, almost bringing evolution to a halt. What caused destruction on such an unimaginable scale? Was the impact of a huge meteorite, or prolonged volcanic eruption in Siberia? The evidence is assembled and Michael Benton gives his verdict. "When Life Nearly Died" does more than document this catastrophic event - it is also a history of developing ideas, explaining how we know what we know about geology and palaeontology, and laying bare the arguments and egos of scientists. Benton shows that this is not an arcane story of interest only to the scientific community - the implications of this mass extinction millions of years ago for the present-day biodiversity crisis are very relevant, so that the past can truly be a guide to the present and future life on Earth.

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When Life Nearly Died Reviews

'A great tale, beautifully told' - Niles Eldredge, American Museum of Natural History, author of Reinventing Darwin, Life in the Balance and Triumph of Evolution. 'Michael Benton's splendid book brings back to Earth Science a sense of adventure... It is both a wonderfully good read and a valued reference' - James Lovelock, author of Gaia and Homage to Gaia

About Michael J. Benton

Michael J. Benton is Professor of Vertebrate Palaeontology and Head of Department of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol. Among his most recent books are Vertebrate Palacontology, Basic Palaeontology and The Age of Dinosaurs in Russia and Mongolia (editor).

Additional information

When Life Nearly Died: The Greatest Mass Extinction of All Time by Michael J. Benton
Michael J. Benton
Used - Very Good
Thames & Hudson Ltd
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a used book - there is no escaping the fact it has been read by someone else and it will show signs of wear and previous use. Overall we expect it to be in very good condition, but if you are not entirely satisfied please get in touch with us.