Earth may have a ‘pulse’ every 60million years that’s been causing mysterious mass extinctions

Danger: Scientists believe the Earth has a 'pulse' that's been causing mass extinctions

A mysterious cycle of booms and busts in marine biodiversity over the past 500million years could be tied to a ‘pulse of the Earth’ – a periodic uplifting of continents that results in the seas being too shallow for species to survive in, according to a new study.

Researchers at the University of Kansas believe evidence for these uplifts lie in the increased amounts of an element found in the continental crust that they’ve subsequently detected in marine fossils whenever mass extinctions have occurred.

The fact that the element, strontium-87, is suddenly appearing in the oceans means that there must have been sudden huge tectonic movements that the researchers believe played havoc with marine life.

Adrian Melott, a Professor of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Kansas , said: ‘Strontium-87 is produced by radioactive decay of another element, rubidium, which is common in igneous rocks in continental crust.

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