Marine Life Quickly Recovered After Global Mass Extinction

Ichthyosaurs illustration
Ichthyosaurs and other marine reptiles invaded the oceans soon after the Permian mass extinction. (Cory Ford/Getty Images)

Reptiles rapidly invaded the seas soon after a global extinction wiped out most life on Earth, according to a new study led by University of California, Davis, researchers. Global climate change — likely triggered by massive volcanic eruptions — killed off more than 95 percent of all species about 250 million years ago, at the end of the Permian period. Land reptiles colonized the ocean in just 3.35 million years at the beginning of the Triassic, a speedy recovery in geologic time, the researchers report today (June 13) in the journal Scientific Reports. Read more at UC Davis News.