“Permian Monsters: The Worst Mass Extinction of all Time”
Followed by a FREE viewing of the Jules Verne’s 1959 classic, “Journey to the Center of the Earth”.
Opening talk by Christian F. Kammerer, Research, Curator of Paleontology, North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.
General admission is $10 for adults or children.
Long before the dinosaurs, the earth was ruled by a group called synapsids–a set of often bizarre-looking animals more closely related to mammals than reptiles. The greatest diversity and abundance of these non-mammalian synapsids occurred in the Permian Period. Synapsids were nearly wiped out at the end of the Permian in the worst mass extinction of all time, paving the way for new creatures, like the ancestors of dinosaurs, to take over in the following Triassic Period. However, a few synapsids survived, giving rise to the first mammals in the rapidly changing Triassic world. This talk discuss the importance of the end-Permian mass extinction in shaping the origins of important groups like dinosaurs and mammals, and show how understanding extinctions in the distant past can help us deal with the current biodiversity crisis.