When life flourishes, it's because it transcends a boundary. There's no rhythm to mass extinctions, no pattern to evolutionary recovery. Instead, life bursts forth in cacophonous adaptation. Riley Black, a science writer and author of "The Last Days of the Dinosaurs", explores why mass extinction don't drive evolutionary change; life does. "But the fossil record no longer bears out this pattern of devastation and vigorous renewal. Even though what we know of prehistoric life comes to us in fragments – a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of all life that ever lived – palaeontologists have been able to at least outline the ebb and flow of life through time. The trend doesn't match the classic narratives around mass extinctions. In most cases, the times when life truly thrived were decoupled from mass extinctions."