Crime Scene Investigation--Permian

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Science  31 Mar 2006:
Vol. 311, Issue 5769, pp. 1868-1869
DOI: 10.1126/science.1125756

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Extinction. How Life on Earth Nearly Ended 250 Million Years Ago. By Douglas H. Erwin. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, 2006. 306 pp. $24.95, £15.95. ISBN 0-691-00524-9.

The author discusses the end-Permian extinction--"the mother of mass extinctions"--and the numerous explanations that have been offered for it.