Conodont Survival and Low Iridium Abundances Across the Permian-Triassic Boundary in South China

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  29 Aug 1986:
Vol. 233, Issue 4767, pp. 984-986
DOI: 10.1126/science.233.4767.984


The Permian-Triassic sedimentary sequence of China includes one of the most complete and fossiliferous Paleozoic-Mesozoic boundaries known. Closely spaced sampling across the boundary, which is an important extinction event for most organisms, has produced good conodont faunas that show little diversity change. A drop in conodont abundance is the only apparent response to the extinction event. A low concentration of iridium in the boundary clay (0.002 part per billion ±20 percent), as well as in samples immediately below and above, that range from 0.004 to 0.034 part per billion do not support the proposal of an extraterrestrial impact event at this boundary in China.