“Not so long ago, the very nature of planet Earth suffered a devastating rupture,” writes ” writes Robinson Meyer in The Atlantic, about our emerging Anthropocene epoch. “The break was sudden, global, and irreversible. It happened in the year 1950. Mick Jagger, Meryl Streep, and Caitlyn Jenner were all born before this crack in time. Vladimir Putin, Liam Neeson, and Mr. T were all born after it.”
The mass extinction brought about at the end of the 50-million-year-long Permian period, brought about the end the entire Paleozoic era, in progress since the dawn of animal life. The Paleozoic, with its ancient seas filled with trilobites, brachiopods, and strange reefs, was as starkly different from the age to come as the age of dinosaurs is from our world today.