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Mystery Cache

A Great Story | massExodus

Hidden : 9/4/2009
In Wisconsin, United States
2 out of 5
2 out of 5

Size: Size: small (small)

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Geocache Description:


This series is dedicated to a real Wizard of the sciences who inspires our youth to think about the physics of natural laws in unique and engaging ways, our own Professor Gizmo. I have been inspired by Giz's caches since the very beginning and this tribute is a long time coming and part of the reason it is a series and not just a single cache.

It's safe to say that most of us know about the extinction of the dinosaurs and the cause of that extinction event believed to be a monster meteor that struck the earth with incredible force, but how many of us know anything about the other 5 significant extinction events in the early history of the planet. Actually, as pictured above, the earth has survived numerous extinctions, but most palentoligists agree that there are 5 biggies. Here's your opportunity to discover the impact these extinction events had on the species diversity of the planet and how massive the die-offs were.

A: This extinction event makes the end of the Ordovician Period and at this time the supercontinent Pangea is thought to have passed over the South Pole creating the largest glacial land mass of all time.

B: This extinction event was caused by a mountain-size asteroid which slammed into Earth at an estimated 50,000 miles per hour along Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, releasing an amount of energy equivalent to 1,000 times all humanity's currently existing nuclear weapons combined.

C: One-fifth of all families of marine life go extinct during this event which is believed to have been caused by the eruption of the Central Atlantic magnetic province.

D: Some speculate that this was actually 2 extinction events occurring at the same time, relatively speaking, over the course of a couple million years and is the third largest discernible extinction.

E: This mass extinction was the most devastating extinction Earth has ever endured, affecting both marine and land life. More than 50% of animal families go extinct, meaning that 95% of species can be inferred to have gone extinct.

F: Single-cell foraminifera that build "shells" of silica all survive this extinction, while half of the kinds that protect themselves with calcareous shells go extinct.

G: (+4) The enormous amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere after this event increased the average global temperature by 20°F for a million years.

H: All forms of planktonic graptolites go extinct, never to re-evolve. Many families of trilobites and brachiopods (clamlike creatures distinct from mollusks) also go extinct during this event.

I: This event lead to the extinction of nearly every land animal whose adult form weighed more than 50 pounds.

J: Reef-building carbonate sponges (stromatoporoids) suffer huge losses in diversity, but the siliceous sponges are unharmed during this event.

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Last Updated: on 1/31/2017 4:47:54 AM (UTC-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada) (12:47 PM GMT)
Rendered From:Unknown
Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum

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