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Methane-spewing microbe blamed for Earth’s worst mass extinction

By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Sometimes bad things come in small packages. A microbe that spewed humongous amounts of methane into Earth’s atmosphere triggered a global catastrophe 252 million years ago that wiped out upwards of 90 percent of marine species and 70 percent of land vertebrates. That’s the…

Extinction of large animals could destroy soil fertility: study

The mass extinction of large animals in the Pleistocene era caused today’s dearth of soil nutrients, scientists said Sunday, and warned of further damage if modern giants like the elephant disappear. The Pleistocene epoch, which dated from about 2.6 million to 11,700 years ago, saw large animals dubbed megafauna take…

Earth’s species may not be vanishing as fast as previously believed

Mass extinction? Man may still have time to catalog Earth's species. For years, ecologists and biologists have warned that the planet is sliding into a mass extinction event comparable to the one that did in the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. But Earth’s species may not be vanishing as fast…

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