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Extinction: How Life on Earth Nearly Ended 250 Million Years Ago

by Douglas H. Erwin
Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2008. 320 pages.

Extinction, the publisher writes, "is a paleontological mystery story. Here, the world's foremost authority on the subject provides a fascinating overview of the evidence for and against a whole host of hypothesis concerning this cataclysmic event that unfolded at the end of the Permian." The reviewer for The Quarterly Review of Biology comments, "Although this book may frustrate readers expecting to learn how life nearly ended 250 million years ago, it will reward them with a fascinating case study in scientific inference, a case that remains very much open." Erwin is Senior Scientist and Curator in the Department of Paleobiology at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History.