Feb. 10 (UPI) -- Scientists in China have unearthed a treasure trove of sponge fossils, their fragile skeletons and soft tissues neatly preserved. The find offers a rare glimpse of life as it was 445 million years ago in the second-largest mass extinction.
Roughly 85 percent of all species disappeared during the end-Ordovician crisis. An ice age and then rapid warming, accompanied by dramatic changes in the chemistry of the ocean, followed. Little is known about life in the immediate aftermath of the crisis.