21. Geobiology of the Phanerozoic

  1. Andrew H. Knoll2,
  2. Donald E. Canfield3 and
  3. Kurt O. Konhauser4
  1. Steven M. Stanley

Published Online: 29 MAR 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118280874.ch21

Fundamentals of Geobiology

Fundamentals of Geobiology

How to Cite

Stanley, S. M. (2012) Geobiology of the Phanerozoic, in Fundamentals of Geobiology (eds A. H. Knoll, D. E. Canfield and K. O. Konhauser), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118280874.ch21

Editor Information

  1. 2

    Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge MA 02138, USA

  2. 3

    Institute of Biology Nordic Center for Earth Evolution, University of Southern Denmark, Campusvej 55, DK-5230 Odense M, Denmark

  3. 4

    Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2E3, Canada

Author Information

  1. Department of Geology and Geophysics, University of Hawaii, 1680 East-West Road, Honolulu HI 96822, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 29 MAR 2012
  2. Published Print: 20 APR 2012

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781118280812

Online ISBN: 9781118280874



  • geobiology of the Phanerozoic;
  • beginning of the Phanerozoic Eon;
  • polyphyletic evolution of skeletons, in the Cambrian;
  • three Cambrian mass extinctions, of the Phanerozoic;
  • The Toarcian anoxic event;
  • phytoplankton, foraminifera and the carbon cycle;
  • Paleocene–Eocene climatic shift, sudden pulse of global warming;
  • Eocene–Oligocene shift, with the Circumantarctic Current;
  • cascading evolutionary radiations, spread of C4 grasses;
  • modern ice age, of Northern Hemisphere, biotic consequences


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • The beginning of the Phanerozoic Eon

  • Cambrian mass extinctions

  • The terminal Ordovician mass extinction

  • The impact of early land plants

  • Silurian biotic crises

  • Devonian mass extinctions

  • Major changes of the global ecosystem in Carboniferous time

  • Low-elevation glaciation near the equator

  • Drying of climates

  • A double mass extinction in the Permian

  • The absence of recovery in the early Triassic

  • The terminal Triassic crisis

  • The rise of atmospheric oxygen since early in Triassic time

  • The Toarcian anoxic event

  • Phytoplankton, planktonic foraminifera, and the carbon cycle

  • Diatoms and the silica cycle

  • Cretaceous climates

  • The sudden Paleocene–Eocene climatic shift

  • The cause of the Eocene–Oligocene climatic shift

  • The re-expansion of reefs during Oligocene time

  • Drier climates and cascading evolutionary radiations on the land

  • References