Multicellar life came closest to complete annihilation during the ca. 252 Ma Permian–Triassic mass extinction (PTME), which resulted in the largest crash in global biodiversity since the Cambrian explosion (Alroy et al., 2008). This largest biocrisis in the Phanerozoic has also dramatically redirected the course of biotic evolution during the Mesozoic and Cenozoic, and is responsible for much of the structure of marine and terrestrial ecosystems today (Chen and Benton, 2012). However, many aspects of the biotic recovery following the PTME have been puzzling, including its tempo and mechanism (Erwin, 1994, 2001; Benton...

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