Permian (Paleozoic 6)

Paleozoic Era 6: Permian Period

Key Events

  • Landmasses converge into a supercontinent, called Pangea.
  • Two groups of land animals develop, the synapsids (ancestors of mammals) and the sauropsids (ancestors of the dinosaurs and modern reptiles and birds). 
  • The largest mass extinction in Earth’s history occurs at the end of the Permian Period, probably caused by massive volcanic eruptions in Siberia.
  • More than 95% of all species become extinct.
Illustration of life during the Permian Period.
Illustration of life during the Permian Period. Copyright: Vix Southgate

Facts, Debates & Trivia

  • The Permian Period is named after the Perm region in Russia’s Ural Mountains.
  • The granite ‘backbone’ of Cornwall is formed during this period.


  • The formation of Pangea leads to drier conditions where reptiles dominate.
The Earth 280 million years ago. The red dot marks the location of what will eventually become Cornwall. Credit: C.R. Scotese/I. Webster


298.9 – 251.9 million years ago 

(47 million years)

1 metre = 10 million years

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