Extinction and dawn of the modern world in the Carnian (Late Triassic)

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Science Advances  16 Sep 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 38, eaba0099
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aba0099


  • Fig. 1 Environmental and geochemical changes of the CPE.

    (A) Age of the CPE, composite organic carbon-isotope curve through the Carnian (2), temperature changes reconstructed from oxygen-isotope data from conodont apatite (7), relative sea level changes (RSL), and depositional sequences (DSs). The gap in data in the lower Tuvalian is centered on a global sea level low, implying that most shallow water successions have a hiatus there. The reader should refer to (2) and (7) for a detailed discussion of the δ13C and temperature composite schematic records. NCA, Northern Calcareous Alps; SCB, South China Block. (B) Palaeogeography during the Carnian and location of the data indicating environmental changes during the CPE [modified after (2)]. Localities: (1) Dolomites (Italy), (2) Julian Alps (Italy), (3) Transdanubian Range (Hungary), (4) Northern Calcareous Alps (Austria), (5) Lagonegro Basin (Italy), (6) Antalya (Turkey), (7) Iberia (Spain), (8) United Kingdom, (9) Central European Basin, (10) Barents sea, (11) Jameson Land, (12) Fundy Basin (Canada), (13) Richmond and Taylorsville basins (United States), (14) Essaouira Basin, (15) Jeffara Basin, (16) Levant Basin (Jordan, Israel), (17) Brasil, (18) Ishigualasto and Cujo basins (Argentina), (19) Karoo Basin (South Africa), (20) Oman, (21) Rewa Basin (India), (22) Spiti (India), (23) Carnarvon Basin (Australia), (24) Nanpanjiang Basin (China), (25) Panthalassa (Japan), and (26) Wrangellia and Panthalassa (Canada and United States).

  • Fig. 2 Marine extinctions during the CPE.

    (A) Comparison of extinction rates of all marine genera during the CPE with those of major Phanerozoic mass extinction events [from figure 2 of (42)]. The data compilation reveals that the CPE was a severe mass extinction, bigger than the well-known early Jurassic and Cretaceous extinctions. (B) Generic richness of 12 marine invertebrates’ groups for early and late Carnian. (C) Comparative rarefaction curves (full lines) with 95% confidence intervals (dash lines) for early and late Carnian. Rarefaction analyses were carried out on generic occurrences by using software PAST. Data come from the PBDB and the database of (41). OAE, Oceanic anoxic event.

  • Fig. 3 Marine extinctions and originations.

    The CPE marks the appearance of Scleractinian reefs and is followed by the first appearance of rock-forming calcareous dinoflagellates. Ammonoids and conodonts suffered a major extinction event at the onset of the CPE, followed by high origination rates in the Tuvalian. Extinction and origination rates are calculated according to (114), including singletons. Ammonoid and conodont data from the PDB have been revised and integrated. For the δ13C and T records, refer to Fig. 1.

  • Fig. 4 Terrestrial extinctions and originations.

    Major biological changes among vertebrates, plants, and insects, discussed in the paper, in relation to the C-isotope and T variations recorded during the Carnian (Fig. 1). The most notable pattern that can be observed is a major diversification event that affected many groups in the late Carnian (Tuvalian), i.e., just after the main negative C-isotope excursions that mark the CPE. Most of the amber, which indicates stressed conditions, is dated to the latest Julian when biostratigraphic data allow a good age control (88, 89). Data are summarized from the following literature and the references therein. Trackmaker assemblage variations from (10) are as follows. Dinosauria: red star, detrital zircon age for Santa Maria Formation (Brazil); green star, U-Pb age of Ishigualasto fauna (34, 68, 115, 116). Dycinodonts: (117, 118). Crocodilomorpha: (70, 71). Phytosaurs: (119, 120). Rhynchocephalia: (73, 74). Mammals: (8082). Turtles: (75, 7779). Plants: (83). Amber: (88). Insects: (9193). For the δ13C and T records, refer to Fig. 1. Stutt. Fm, Stuttgart Formation; EU, Europe; Ger, Germany.

  • Fig. 5 Wrangellia LIP.

    Stratigraphy of the Wrangellian succession in Vancouver Island (Canada) and Wrangell Mountain (Alaska, USA) reconstructed from (102). The age of the end of Wrangellia volcanism can be solidly fixed with ammonoid biostratigraphy to the early Tuvalian, while the onset could have a late Ladinian age given the presence of Daonella bivalves below the basalt pile (see discussion in the main text). Fm., Formation.

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