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A Marine Focus
The Permian-Triassic Boundary: Introduction

The Permian period occurs between 290 and 248 million years ago and is the last period of the Paleozoic Era. The end of the Permian and beginning of the Triassic is marked by the largest mass extinction in Earth's history. Originally called the Trias, the Triassic was named by Friedrich Von Alberti in 1834 for three distinct strata occurring within its duration; red beds, chalk and black shale. (Lozovsky, 1998) The lower Triassic is also known as the Scythian epoch and is generally divided into two main subdivisions: the Induan and Olenekian. (Tverdokhlebov, 2003) The duration of time spanning the lower Triassic includes evidence of profound changes in the Earth’s internal features, topography, atmosphere, climate and biota; indeed, the beginning of the Triassic marks a profound metamorphosis for life on Earth.