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Reefs coped mass extinction earlier than Earth

Last Updated: Sunday, October 2, 2011 - 19:37

London: Researchers had always assumed it took the Earth as long as five million years to recover from the species collapse.

However, a new research has proved that reefs came into existence soon after the great mass extinction as soon as the conditions normalised.

An international team, including the paleontologist Hugo Bucher from the University of Zurich and his team of researchers, has proved reefs already existed again in the southwest of what is now the USA 1.5 million years after the mass extinction.

Metazoan organisms such as sponges, serpulids and other living creatures dominated the reefs.

Metazoan-dominated reefs had already developed during the Early Triassic, much earlier than was previously assumed and as soon as the environmental conditions more or less returned to normal, the reef began to grow again due to metazoan organisms that had played a secondary role in the reefs up to then.

“This shows that, after the extinction of dominant reef creators, metazoan were able to form reef ecosystems much sooner than was previously thought,” Bucher said.

The study appears in Nature Geoscience.


First Published: Sunday, October 2, 2011 - 19:37

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