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The K-T Extinction
This chapter from the book History of Life describes the results of the K-T extinction and looks at the Impact theory and a giant volcanic eruption as possible causes. The essay covers the catastrophic scenarios for extinction that could result from these events. After reviewing the paleontological record across the K-T boundary, the author concludes that it is not clear that the catastrophes themselves can explain the extinction patterns that we see in the fossil record.
Intended for grade levels:
  • College (13-14)
  • College (15-16)
  • Graduate / Professional
Type of resource:
  • Text:
    • Ref. material
  • Geological Sciences:
    • Geology
    • Paleontology
Technical requirements:
No specific technical requirements, just a browser required
Cost / Copyright:
No cost
This essay, written in 1999, is a chapter from the book History of Life, published by Blackwell Science, Boston, Massachusetts, 2000. Copyright Richard Cowen 1994. You may print out a copy for personal or educational use, and you may link to this site. Illustrations are missing from this Web version of the chapter.
DLESE Catalog ID: DLESE-000-000-005-024
Resource contact / Creator / Publisher:
Author: Dr Richard Cowen
University of California, Davis

Publisher: University of California Museum of Paleontology