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Permian mass extinction

        It is my understanding that the mass extinction at the K-T pales
comparison to the one at the end of the Permian. While *Everyone* has
something to say about what killed the Dino's, I haven't been able to
scrape up more than a cursory reference to the prior event.
        The way I've heard it described, however briefly, is that nearly
90% of
ALL life was wiped out and that the surviving animals diversified *Very*
rapidly with the Dino's leading the pack and squeezing out their
competitors in almost every catagory early in the game.
        Is this true? If not, what really happened? Where can I get more
(substantive) information?
        I appreciate any assistance. Please feel free to respond to me
directly as
well as posting to this group.
        Thank you.