About The Author

Benton's research investigates palaeobiology, palaeontology, and macroevolution. Benton is the author of several palaeontology text books (e.g. Vertebrate Palaeontology) and children's books. He has also advised on many media productions including BBC's Walking with Dinosaurs and was a program consultant for Paleoworld on Discovery Science. His research interests include: diversification of life, quality of the fossil record, shapes of phylogenies, age-clade congruence, mass extinctions, Triassic ecosystem evolution, basal diapsid phylogeny, basal archosaurs, and the origin of the dinosaurs.

Benton has also been contributing in some documentaries. One of these was BBCs 2002 program The Day The Earth Nearly Died, which feature scientists and deals with the mysteries of the Permian extinction. In December 2010, Benton had a rhynchosaur (Bentonyx) named in his honour. His work has been published in a variety of journals.

Benton is a palaeontologist who has made fundamental contributions to understanding the history of life, particularly concerning how biodiversity changes through time. He has led in integrating data from living and fossil organisms to generate phylogenies — solutions to the question of how major groups originated and diversified through time.

This approach has revolutionised our understanding of major questions, including the relative roles of internal and external drivers on the history of life, whether diversity reaches saturation, the significance of mass extinctions, and how major clades radiate. A key theme is the Permian–Triassic extinction event, the largest mass extinction of all time, which took place over 250 million years ago, where he investigates how life was able to recover from such a devastating event.

Horseshoe Crabs Living Through A Crisis

Horseshoe crabs, or limulids, are some of the strangest of shoreline creatures. There are only four species today, three of them living in shallow waters and mangroves around south Asia, and one, the Atlantic or North American horseshoe crab, living along the American Atlantic coast and the Gulf of Mexico. Limulids have a hinged carapace,