Credit: Photographer: Dierk Blomeier. For David P.G. Bond and colleagues, GSA Bulletin, 2015.
Science Daily has a story about the Capitanian Extinction event. This event occurred in the mid-Permian, around 10 million years before the end Permian mass extinction, otherwise known as the "Great Dying". At first it was thought to be a more local event, but now evidence from the high latitudes shows it to be global. The original paper appeared in the journal Geological Society of America Bulletin.
Until now, this Capitanian extinction was known only from equatorial settings, and its status as a global crisis was controversial.
David P.G. Bond and colleagues provide the first evidence for severe Middle Permian losses amongst brachiopods in northern paleolatitudes (Spitsbergen).
Their study shows that the Boreal crisis coincided with an intensification of marine oxygen depletion, implicating this killer in the extinction scenario.
The widespread loss of carbonates across the Boreal Realm also suggests a role for acidification. The new data cements the Middle Permian crisis's status as a true "mass extinction." Thus the "Big 5" extinctions should now be considered the "Big 6."