Visit
for coverage from TIME, Health, Fortune and more
Go »
fish-skeleton-dry-land
Getty Images

5 Major Extinctions—And One More We May Be Causing Right Now

TIME Health
For more, visit TIME Health.

WSF logo small

For everything on Earth, there has been a season: A time for continents to meet, a time for them to break apart, a time for warming and a time for cooling, a time for life to thrive and species to multiply—and a time for them to get obliterated by global catastrophes. Scientists generally recognize five major extinction events when, in very short order (on a geological timescale, anyway), much of life on Earth was utterly stomped into the fossil record. Here’s a look at the five major extinction events of epochs past, and a glimpse at the sixth one we might be causing right now.

infographic-mass-extinctions World Science Festival 

Sources:

This article originally appeared on World Science Festival

All products and services featured are based solely on editorial selection. TIME may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website.