Mass extinctions - proof that it did not happen may be...

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Mass extinctions are quite a different type of extinction than the background extinctions. In some regards mass extinctions rekindled ideas of Catastrophism (as opposed to Uniformitarionism; see lecture 2). The impact extinction theory that mass extinctions were indeed caused by asteroid (or other) impact is a good one because it falls into the mainstream of scientific inquiry: an hypothesis that can be tested, and falsified, with further sampling or experimentation (although conclusive
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Unformatted text preview: proof that it did not happen may be difficult). The Cretaceous-Tertiary (K/T ) Extinctions are some of the best studied. What went extinct? marine reptiles, ammonites, dinosaurs, etc. However, many groups were relatively unaffected. This presents an interesting problem: how could something that might be so devastating as to kill off many diverse taxa be, at the same time, so selective with respect to different taxa? See figure 23.5, pg. 648....
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