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Single Microbe May Have Triggered the "Great Dying" 171

An anonymous reader writes with an excerpt from Medical Daily about a new theory for what triggered the "Great Dying: " "Researchers believe that they may finally know why the event occurred, but the theory is not without controversy. There are several theories, including the possibility of a meteorite hitting the planet. Previously, most researchers believed that the Permian mass extinction was a result of a series of volcanic eruptions in what is now Siberia. ... However, Daniel Rothman from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is floating around a different theory. As he presented in a meeting for the American Geophysical Union, he believes that the mass extinction could have been caused by something much smaller. His theory is that the extinction was caused by a single strain of bacteria."
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Single Microbe May Have Triggered the "Great Dying"

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  • Re:Jay Gould (again) (Score:5, Informative)

    by Kupfernigk ( 1190345 ) on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @07:40AM (#42324015)
    Our ability to create a global extinction event just puts us on the same level as an asteroid, this proposed strain of bacteria, or a chain of volcanoes, from a biological point of view.

    And thinking about the importance of a phylum in terms of its biomass is nothing to do with whether a biologist is American or not - it tells you the significance of that phylum in food chains. What does the AC above think the krill eat? They eat plankton. Now tell me, which is there more of? Krill or plankton? And what do plankton do? They use sunlight and nutrients (largely recycled by bacteria from decaying matter), or they use bacteria directly.

    How does organic matter in the soil get broken down into a form that plants can use? Fungi and bacteria. Without plants, there would be only a few people living on the sea coasts.

    Read Jay Gould. Then read some of the many books he recommends. You will then be able to make more intelligent posts on these subjects.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @09:36AM (#42324601)

    the quantity of nickel required is "very small". It's a catalyst, not a consumable. When in ash, teh jet stream and ocean currenst are very good at distributing it. Completely plausible as a theory goes. Now, do we have proof? Not yet, however, this is better than many of the "look for money" theories.

Who goeth a-borrowing goeth a-sorrowing. -- Thomas Tusser