UV radiation pulse played role in mass extinction event, fossilized pollen reveals

UV radiation pulse played role in mass extinction event, fossilized pollen reveals

UV radiation pulse played role in mass extinction event, fossilized pollen reveals

A deadly pulse of ultraviolet (UV) radiation may have played a role in Earth’s largest mass extinction, fossilized pollen grains reveal.

Pollen dating back to the time of the Permian-Triassic mass extinction, around 250 million years ago, produced “sunscreen” compounds that protected against harmful UV-B rays, the analysis found. At that time, about 80% of all marine and terrestrial species died.

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