“Happy families are all alike, but every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way” Tolstoy (1878). As in this famous first line of Anna Karenina, each Permian–Triassic boundary section is unhappy in its own way. Wignall and Newton (2003) are to be commended for showing that this great mass extinction had different effects at different localities, such as deep oceanic warming in Tibet, but they have not demonstrated their chief claims that (1) mass extinction was globally diachronous by a half million years, or (2) due to dysoxia from oceanic stagnation. Furthermore, their foraminiferal disaster taxa are better...

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