Robert Gastaldo, Colby’s Whipple-Coddington Professor of Geology, and colleagues recently published an article in the journal PALAIOS, that upsets long-held beliefs about the End-Permian mass extinction 252 million years ago.

Gastaldo is coauthor of an article titled “Testing the Daptocephalus and Lystrosaurus Assemblage Zones in a Lithostratographic, Magnetostratigraphic, and Palynological Framework in the Free State, South Africa.” PALAIOS is a journal that emphasizes the impact of life on Earth’s history.

The abstract of the piece says: “We conclude that the turnover from the Daptocephalus to Lystrosaurus Assemblage Zones is more protracted than envisioned, it is not coincident with the end-Permian event as recognized in the marine realm, and little evidence exists in support of a three-phased extinction model based on vertebrate assemblages in the Karoo Basin.”

Other articles coauthored by Gastaldo and published this year include “A Multidisciplinary Approach to Review the Vertical and Lateral Facies Relationships of the Purported Vertebrate-defined Terrestrial Boundary Interval at Bethulie, Karoo Basin, South Africa” in Earth Science Reviews, Volume 189; and “Discussion of ‘Permian—Triassic vertebrate footprints from South Africa: Ichnotaxonomy, producers and biostratigraphy through two major faunal crises,’” in Gondwana Research.



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