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What killed the dinosaurs?

American Scientist

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Abstract

Out of a number of earlier attempts to explain mass extinctions, only the volcanism alternative to the impact hypothesis remains under serious consideration. The evidence for an impact is reviewed, and the mechanisms which might have brought about the apocalyptic series of extinctions at the Cretaceous-Tertiary (K-T) boundary are reviewed, referring to Alvarez's and other research teams working on the problem. As suggested by the patterns of extinctions and the periodicity of this and other mass extinctions, the "volcanist alternative' is introduced. This would produce a series of selective extinctions spread over a considerable length of time, and which is similar to what the fossil record shows, and could account for the iridium anomaly at the K-T boundary. More support for this theory comes from models put forward by volcanist exponents, but it is concluded that the debate is far from ended. -J.W.Cooper

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
What killed the dinosaurs?
Series title:
American Scientist
Volume
78
Issue:
4
Year Published:
1990
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
American Scientist
First page:
354
Last page:
370