According to the InfoPlease encyclopedia, the last mass extinction experienced on Earth was 54 million years ago. This link here is to an interactive chart that details the five most recent mass extinctions. Also, some scientists believe that a sixth mass extinction is coming soon if it hasn’t already started. Land deforestation and other environmental issues contribute to this.
The last mass extinction was the Cretaceous-Tertiary, occurring 65-66 million years ago. About two thirds of all species went extinct, including the dinosaurs. Species we know today, like the giant redwood trees, birds, and turtles, did survive this extinction period. An asteroid crashing into the Earth is one suspected factor, but scientists are still searching for additional explanations. There are four mass extinctions prior to the K-T one, though scientists aren’t as sure about what caused those. These are the Triassic-Jurassic, Permian-Triassic, Late Devonian, and Ordovician-Silurian extinctions.
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