Middle Mississippian Blastoid Extinction Event

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Science  06 May 1988:
Vol. 240, Issue 4853, pp. 796-798
DOI: 10.1126/science.240.4853.796


The Middle Mississippian blastoid (Phylum Echinodermata) extinction event (about 340 million years ago) was a rapid, habitat-specific extinction. Blastoids became rare or absent in shallow-water environments after the extinction, and this change was probably synchronous worldwide. Onshore-offshore habitat shifts have been recognized as an important historical trend among marine benthos. Unlike trends exhibited by other groups, blastoids appear to have repopulated shallow-water habitats after a period of diminished diversity and abundance.