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Mass Extinctions
An extinction event (also known as a mass extinction or biotic crisis) is a widespread and rapid decrease in the biodiversity on Earth. Such an event is identified by a sharp change in the diversity and abundance of multicellular organisms. It occurs when the rate of extinction increases with respect to the rate of speciation. Because most diversity and biomass on Earth
Earth
is microbial, and thus difficult to measure, recorded extinction events affect the easily observed, biologically complex component of the biosphere rather than the total diversity and abundance of life.[1] Extinction
Extinction
occurs at an uneven rate. Based on the fossil record, the background rate of extinctions on Earth
Earth
is about two to five taxonomic families of marine animals every million years
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Cambrian
The Cambrian
Cambrian
Period ( /ˈkæmbriən/ or /ˈkeɪmbriən/) was the first geological period of the Paleozoic
Paleozoic
Era, of the Phanerozoic
Phanerozoic
Eon.[6] The Cambrian
Cambrian
lasted 55.6 million years from the end of the preceding Ediacaran
Ediacaran
Period 541 million years ago (mya) to the beginning of the Ordovician
Ordovician
Period 485.4 mya.[7] Its subdivisions, and its base, are somewhat in flux
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Great Oxygenation Event
The Great Oxygenation Event, the beginning of which is commonly known in scientific media as the Great Oxidation
Oxidation
Event (GOE, also called the Oxygen Catastrophe, Oxygen Crisis, Oxygen Holocaust,[2] Oxygen Revolution, or Great Oxidation) was the biologically induced appearance of dioxygen (O2) in Earth's atmosphere.[3] Geological, isotopic, and chemical evidence suggest that this major environmental change happened around 2.45 billion years ago (2.45 Ga),[4] during the
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Microbial
A microorganism, or microbe,[a] is a microscopic organism, which may exist in its single-celled form or in a colony of cells. The possible existence of unseen microbial life was suspected from ancient times, such as in Jain scriptures
Jain scriptures
from 6th-century-BC India and the 1st-century-BC book On Agriculture
Agriculture
by Marcus Terentius Varro. Microbiology, the scientific study of microorganisms, began with their observation under the microscope in the 1670s by Antonie van Leeuwenhoek. In the 1850s, Louis Pasteur
Louis Pasteur
found that microorganisms caused food spoilage, debunking the theory of spontaneous generation. In the 1880s Robert Koch
Robert Koch
discovered that microorganisms caused the diseases tuberculosis, cholera and anthrax. Microorganisms include all unicellular organisms and so are extremely diverse
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Biosphere
The biosphere (from Greek βίος bíos "life" and σφαῖρα sphaira "sphere") also known as the ecosphere (from Greek οἶκος oîkos "environment" and σφαῖρα), is the worldwide sum of all ecosystems. It can also be termed the zone of life on Earth, a closed system (apart from solar and cosmic radiation and heat from the interior of the Earth), and largely self-regulating.[1] By the most general biophysiological definition, the biosphere is the global ecological system integrating all living beings and their relationships, including their interaction with the elements of the lithosphere, geosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere
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Fossil Record
A fossil (from Classical Latin
Latin
fossilis; literally, "obtained by digging")[1] is any preserved remains, impression, or trace of any once-living thing from a past geological age. Examples include bones, shells, exoskeletons, stone imprints of animals or microbes, hair, petrified wood, oil, coal, and DNA
DNA
remnants. The totality of fossils is known as the fossil record. Paleontology
Paleontology
is the study of fossils: their age, method of formation, and evolutionary significance. Specimens are usually considered to be fossils if they are over 10,000 years old.[2] The oldest fossils are from around 3.48 billion years old[3][4][5] to 4.1 billion years old.[6][7] The observation in the 19th century that certain fossils were associated with certain rock strata led to the recognition of a geological timescale and the relative ages of different fossils
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Background Extinction Rate
Background extinction rate, also known as the normal extinction rate, refers to the standard rate of extinction in earth's geological and biological history before humans became a primary contributor to extinctions. This is primarily the pre-human extinction rates during periods in between major extinction events.Contents1 Overview 2 Measurement 3 Lifespan estimates 4 Accuracy 5 References 6 Further reading 7 External linksOverview[edit] Extinctions are a normal part of the evolutionary process, and the background extinction rate is a measurement of "how often" they naturally occur
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Alpha Taxonomy
Taxonomy (from Ancient Greek τάξις (taxis), meaning 'arrangement', and -νομία (-nomia), meaning 'method') is the science of defining and naming groups of biological organisms on the basis of shared characteristics. Organisms are grouped together into taxa (singular: taxon) and these groups are given a taxonomic rank; groups of a given rank can be aggregated to form a super-group of higher rank, thus creating a taxonomic hierarchy. The principal ranks in modern use are domain, kingdom, phylum (division is sometimes used in botany in place of phylum), class, order, family, genus and species
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Family (biology)
In biological classification, family (Latin: familia, plural familiae) is one of the eight major taxonomic ranks; it is classified between order and genus. A family may be divided into subfamilies, which are intermediate ranks above the rank of genus. In vernacular usage, a family may be named after one of its common members; for example, walnuts and hickory trees belong to the family Juglandaceae, commonly known as the walnut family. What does or does not belong to a family—or whether a described family should be recognized at all—are proposed and determined by practicing taxonomists. There are no hard rules for describing or recognizing a family, or any taxa. Taxonomists often take different positions about descriptions of taxa, and there may be no broad consensus across the scientific community for some time
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Marine Animal
Marine life, or sea life or ocean life, is the plants, animals and other organisms that live in the salt water of the sea or ocean, or the brackish water of coastal estuaries. At a fundamental level, marine life helps determine the very nature of our planet. Marine organisms produce much of the oxygen we breathe. Shorelines are in part shaped and protected by marine life, and some marine organisms even help create new land. Most life forms evolved initially in marine habitats. Oceans provide about 99 percent of the living space on the planet.[1] The earliest vertebrates appeared in the form of fish, which live exclusively in water. Some of these evolved into amphibians which spend portions of their lives in water and portions on land. Other fish evolved into land mammals and subsequently returned to the ocean as seals, dolphins or whales. Plant
Plant
forms such as kelp and algae grow in the water and are the basis for some underwater ecosystems
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Land Animal
Terrestrial animals are animals that live predominantly or entirely on land (e.g., cats, ants, spiders), as compared with aquatic animals, which live predominantly or entirely in the water (e.g., fish, lobsters, octopuses), or amphibians, which rely on a combination of aquatic and terrestrial habitats (e.g., frogs, or newts). Terrestrial invertebrates include ants, flies, crickets, grasshoppers and spiders.Contents1 Terrestrial Classes 2 Taxonomy2.1 Difficulties3 Terrestrialization 4 Terrestrial gastropods 5 See also 6 Further reading 7 ReferencesTerrestrial Classes[edit] The term terrestrial is typically applied for species that live primarily on the ground, in contrast to arboreal species, which live primarily in trees. There are other less common terms that apply to specific groups of terrestrial animals:Saxicolous are rock dwelling creatures
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Badlands
Badlands
Badlands
are a type of dry terrain where softer sedimentary rocks and clay-rich soils have been extensively eroded by wind and water.[1] They are characterized by steep slopes, minimal vegetation, lack of a substantial regolith, and high drainage density.[2] They can resemble malpaís, a terrain of volcanic rock. Canyons, ravines, gullies, buttes, mesas, hoodoos and other such geologic forms are common in badlands. They are often difficult to navigate by foot. Badlands
Badlands
often have a spectacular color display that alternates from dark black/blue coal stria to bright clays to red scoria.Contents1 Composition 2 Formation 3 Locations 4 Image gallery 5 See also 6 References 7 External linksComposition[edit] Badlands
Badlands
are partially characterized by their thin to nonexistent regolith layers
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Ordovician
The Ordovician
Ordovician
( /ɔːrdəˈvɪʃən/) is a geologic period and system, the second of six periods of the Paleozoic
Paleozoic
Era
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Drumheller
Drumheller
Drumheller
/drʌmˈhɛlər/ is a town within the Red Deer River
Red Deer River
valley in the badlands of east-central Alberta, Canada. It is located 110 kilometres (68 mi) northeast of Calgary
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Alberta
Alberta
Alberta
(/ælˈbɜːrtə/ ( listen)) is a western province of Canada. With an estimated population of 4,067,175 as of 2016 census,[1] it is Canada's fourth most populous province and the most populous of Canada's three prairie provinces. Its area is about 660,000 square kilometres (250,000 sq mi). Alberta
Alberta
and its neighbour Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan
were districts of the Northwest Territories until they were established as provinces on September 1, 1905.[5] The premier has been Rachel Notley
Rachel Notley
since May 2015. Alberta
Alberta
is bounded by the provinces of British Columbia
British Columbia
to the west and Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan
to the east, the Northwest Territories
Northwest Territories
to the north, and the U.S. state
U.S

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K–Pg Boundary
The Cretaceous– Paleogene (K–Pg) boundary, formerly known as the Cretaceous– Tertiary (K-T) boundary,[a] is a geological signature, usually a thin band of rock. K, the first letter of the German word Kreide (chalk), is the traditional abbreviation for the Cretaceous Period and Pg is the abbreviation for the Paleogene Period. The K–Pg boundary marks the end of the Cretaceous
Cretaceous
Period, the last period of the Mesozoic
Mesozoic
Era, and marks the beginning of the Paleogene Period, the first period of the Cenozoic
Cenozoic
Era
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