~450 Ma: ORDOVICIAN EXTINCTION
86% of species lost
The Ordovician–Silurian extinction event, was the second-largest of the five major extinction events in Earth’s history in terms of percentage of genera that went extinct and second largest overall in the overall loss of life. This was the second biggest extinction of marine life, ranking only below the Permian extinction. At the time, all known life was confined to the seas and oceans. More than 60% of marine invertebrates died including two-thirds of all brachiopod (hard upper/lower shells) and bryozoan (aquatic invertebrates) families.
— Graptolite 2-3 cm length
Graptolites, like most Ordovician life, were sea creatures. They were filter-feeding animals and colony builders. Their demise over about a million years was probably caused by a short, severe ice age that lowered sea levels, possibly triggered by the uplift of the Appalachians. The first terrestrial moss-type (bryophyte) fossils appear.
The Late Ordovician (Sandbian) Glasford structure: A marine‐target impact crater with a possible connection to the Ordovician meteorite event Meteoritics & Planetary Science 1–24 (2019)
The Glasford structure in Illinois (USA) was recognized as a buried impact crater in the early 1960s but has never been reassessed in light of recent advances in planetary science. Here, we document shatter cones and previously unknown quartz microdeformation features that support an impact origin for the Glasford structure. We identify the 4 km wide structure as a complex buried impact crater and describe syn‐ and postimpact deposits from its annular trough. We have informally designated these deposits as the Kingston Mines unit (KM). The fossils and sedimentology of the KM indicate a marine depositional setting. The various intervals within the KM constitute a succession of breccia, carbonate, sandstone, and shale similar to marine sedimentary successions preserved in other craters. Graptolite specimens retrieved from the KM place the time of deposition at approximately 455 ± 2 Ma (Late Ordovician, Sandbian). This age determination suggests a possible link between the Glasford impact and the Ordovician meteorite shower, an increase in the rate of terrestrial meteorite impacts attributed to the breakup of the L‐chondrite parent body in the main asteroid belt. (MONSON 2019)
Jens Ormö, Erik Sturkell, Carl Alwmark & Jay Melosh
ABSTRACT: Approximately 470 million years ago one of the largest cosmic catastrophes occurred in our solar system since the accretion of the planets. A 200-km large asteroid was disrupted by a collision in the Main Asteroid Belt, which spawned fragments into Earth crossing orbits. This had tremendous consequences for the meteorite production and cratering rate during several millions of years following the event. The 7.5-km wide Lockne crater, central Sweden, is known to be a member of this family. We here provide evidence that Lockne and its nearby companion, the 0.7-km diameter, contemporaneous, Målingen crater, formed by the impact of a binary, presumably ‘rubble pile’ asteroid. This newly discovered crater doublet provides a unique reference for impacts by combined, and poorly consolidated projectiles, as well as for the development of binary asteroids.