Supervolcanoes and cosmic impacts get all the terrible glory for causing mass extinctions, but a new theory suggests lowly algae may be the killer behind the world's great species annihilations.
Today, just about anywhere there is water, there can be toxic algae. The microscopic plants usually exist in small concentrations, but a sudden warming in the water or an injection of dust or sediment from land can trigger a bloom that kills thousands of fish, poisons shellfish, or even humans.
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