Resilient to mass extinctions

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Earth Has witnessed five mass extinctions which changed the face of life on the planet. But plants coped with these events better than animals. The difference was most visible during the Cretaceous-Paleogene mass extinction, caused by the impact of an asteroid off the Mexican coast 66 million years ago. The event killed almost all the dinosaurs, but had limited impact on plant diversity. Negative rates of diversification (a scenario where more species die than are formed) never continued for long periods for plants. Over 20,000 plant fossils were analysed during the study.


Down To Earth, March, 2015