The most famous of all mass extinctions is surely the one which suddenly wiped out around three-quarters of all life, including the dinosaurs, around 66 million years ago.

Next, perhaps, is the current one – also known as the sixth mass extinction, with more than 500 species currently on course to go disappear in next two decades, according to recent research.

But the earth’s third mass extinction event was the most deadly of all. This came around 252 million years ago at the end of the Permian Epoch and the beginning of the Triassic Epoch, just before the first dinosaurs evolved.


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