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This is a book about an ocean that vanished six million years ago - the ocean of Tethys. Named after a Greek sea nymph - there is a sense of mystery about such a vast - ancient ocean - of which all that remains now are a few little pools - like the Caspian Sea. There were other great oceans in the history of the Earth - Iapetus - Panthalassa - but Tethys was the last of them - vanishing a mere moment (in geological terms) before Man came on the scene. Once Tethys stretched across the world. How do we know? And how could such a vast ocean vanish? The clues of its existence are scattered from Morocco to China. This book tells the story of the ocean - from its origins some 250 million years ago - to its disappearance. It also tells of its impact on life on Earth. The dinosaurs were just beginning to get going when Tethys formed - and they were long dead by the time it disappeared. Dorrik Stow describes the powerful forces that shaped the ocean; the marine life it once held and the rich deposits of oil that life left behind; the impact of its currents on environment and climate. It is rarely realized how very important oceans are to climate and environment - and therefore to life on Earth.The story of Tethys is also a story of extinctions - and floods - and extraordinary episodes such as the virtual drying up of the Mediterranean - before being filled again by a dramatic cascade of water over the straits of Gibralter. And in the telling of that story - we also learn how geologists put together the clues in rocks and fossils to discover Tethys and its history....
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Vanished Ocean: How Tethys Reshaped the World by Dorrik A. V. Stow 9780199214