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Published February 4, 2005 | Supplemental Material
Journal Article Open

Abrupt and Gradual Extinction Among Late Permian Land Vertebrates in the Karoo Basin, South Africa


The Karoo basin of South Africa exposes a succession of Upper Permian to Lower Triassic terrestrial strata containing abundant terrestrial vertebrate fossils. Paleomagnetic/magnetostratigraphic and carbon-isotope data allow sections to be correlated across the basin. With this stratigraphy, the vertebrate fossil data show a gradual extinction in the Upper Permian punctuated by an enhanced extinction pulse at the Permian-Triassic boundary interval, particularly among the dicynodont therapsids, coinciding with negative carbon-isotope anomalies.

Additional Information

© 2005 American Association for the Advancement of Science. Received for publication 3 November 2004; accepted for publication 3 January 2005. We thank the NASA Astrobiology Institute, the NSF, and the National Research Foundation of South Africa for funding. Help in the field and fossil preparation came from the Karoo Paleontology Department, Iziko: South African Museum (P. October, H. Stumer, G. Farrell, preparation by A. Crean, field collection by N. Ward and T. Evans, and lab help by C. Converse and E. Steig). Paleomagnetic software used for data analysis was from C. Jones at the University of Colorado, Boulder. We thank F. Kyte and C. Looy for prereviews.

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