We review available data constraining the extent, volume, age and duration of all major Phanerozoic continental flood basalts (CFB or traps) and oceanic plateaus (OP), together forming the group of large igneous provinces (LIP), going from the smallest Columbia flood basalts at ∼16 Ma to the as yet ill-known remnants of a possible trap at ∼360 Ma in eastern Siberia. The 16 traps (CFB and OP) reviewed form a rather unimodal distribution with an initial modal volume of the order of 2.5 Mkm 3. Most provinces agree with a rather simple first order model in which volcanism may have lasted of the order of 10 Ma, often resulting in continental break-up, but where most of the volume was erupted in about 1 Ma or sometimes less. This makes CFBs/OPs (LIPs) major geodynamic events, with fluxes exceeding the total output of present day hot spots and even possibly exceeding over short times the entire crustal production of mid-ocean ridges. The proposed correlation between trap ages and the ages of several geological events, including mass extinctions and oceanic anoxia, is found to have improved steadily as more data have become available, to the point that the list of trap ages may coincide with many major divisions in the geological time scale. The four largest mass extinctions in the last 260 Ma coincide to the best resolution available with four traps, making a causal connection between the two through some form of catastrophic climatic perturbations the most likely hypothesis. The time sequence of LIPs appears to have been random and there is no robust evidence for long time trends in the corresponding crustal production rate over the last 260 Ma.