|Regional usage||Global (ICS)|
|Time scale(s) used||ICS Time Scale|
|Time span formality||Formal|
|Lower boundary definition||FAD of the Conodont Streptognathodus isolatus within the morphotype Streptognathodus wabaunsensis chronocline.|
|Lower boundary GSSP||Aidaralash, Ural Mountains, Kazakhstan|
|Lower GSSP ratified||1996|
|Upper boundary definition||FAD of the Conodont Hindeodus parvus.|
|Upper boundary GSSP||Meishan, Zhejiang, China|
|Upper GSSP ratified||2001|
The Permian (// PUR-mee-ən) is a geologic period and stratigraphic system which spans 47 million years from the end of the Carboniferous Period 298.9 million years ago (Mya), to the beginning of the Triassic Period 251.902 Mya. It is the last period of the Paleozoic Era; the following Triassic Period belongs to the Mesozoic Era. The concept of the Permian was introduced in 1841 by geologist Sir Roderick Murchison, who named it after the region of Perm in Russia.
The Permian witnessed the diversification of the two groups of amniotes, the synapsids and the sauropsids (reptiles). The world at the time was dominated by the supercontinent Pangaea, which had formed due to the collision of Euramerica and Gondwana during the Carboniferous. Pangaea was surrounded by the superocean Panthalassa. The Carboniferous rainforest collapse left behind vast regions of desert within the continental interior. Amniotes, which could better cope with these drier conditions, rose to dominance in place of their amphibian ancestors.
Various authors recognise at least three, and possibly four extinction events in the Permian. The end of the Early Permian (Cisuralian) saw a major faunal turnover, with most lineages of primitive "pelycosaur" synapsids becoming extinct, being replaced by more advanced therapsids. The end of the Capitanian Stage of the Permian was marked by the major Capitanian mass extinction event, associated with the eruption of the Emeishan Traps. The Permian (along with the Paleozoic) ended with the Permian–Triassic extinction event, the largest mass extinction in Earth's history (which is the last of the three or four crises that occurred in the Permian), in which nearly 81% of marine species and 70% of terrestrial species died out, associated with the eruption of the Siberian Traps. It took well into the Triassic for life to recover from this catastrophe; on land, ecosystems took 30 million years to recover.
Permian System. (Zechstein of Germany — Magnesian limestone of England)—Some introductory remarks explain why the authors have ventured to use a new name in reference to a group of rocks which, as a whole, they consider to be on the parallel of the Zechstein of Germany and the magnesian limestone of England. They do so, not merely because a portion of deposits has long been known by the name "grits of Perm", but because, being enormously developed in the governments of Perm and Orenburg, they there assume a great variety of lithological features ...
...Convincing ourselves in the field, that these strata were so distinguished as to constitute a system, connected with the carboniferous rocks on the one hand, and independent of the Trias on the other, we ventured to designate them by a geographical term, derived from the ancient kingdom of Permia, within and around whose precincts the necessary evidences had been obtained. ... For these reasons, then, we were led to abandon both the German and British nomenclature, and to prefer a geographical name, taken from the region in which the beds are loaded with fossils of an independent and intermediary character; and where the order of superposition is clear, the lower strata of the group being seen to rest upon the Carboniferous rocks.
Le nom de Système Permien, nom dérivé de l'ancien royaume de Permie, aujourd'hui gouvernement de Perm, donc ce dépôt occupe une large part, semblerait assez lui convener ...[The name of the Permian System, a name derived from the ancient kingdom of Permia, today the Government of Perm, of which this deposit occupies a large part, would seem to suit it well enough ...]
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