The extinction of one of more species in a relatively short period of geological time, usually as a consequence of a catastrophic global event, a natural disaster, or an abrupt change in the environment, and based on studies of fossil records and macroscopic evidence.
One of the major devastating effects of such phenomenon is the abrupt decline of the diversity and the population of organisms.
Mass extinctions are usually associated with organisms that are macroscopic rather than microscopic. Examples of mass extinctions are Permian extinction of marine species, and Cretaceous extinction of various species, including dinosaurs.
- extinction event
- extinction-level event
- biotic crisis