E. Extinction has happened slowly throughout geologic history, but with a few dramatic, catastrophic mass extinctions. We may be causing the latest of those mass extinctions. Points Earned: 1/1 Correct Answer: E Your Response: E Which of the following is not part of the evidence that the odd layer marking the extinction of the dinosaurs was caused by a large meteorite impact? 5. Large torn-up rock blocks from a tsunami (giant wave), found in the layer near the Caribbean Sea. A. High concentrations of iridium found in the layer. B. High concentrations of silica found in the layer. C. Abundant soot found in the layer. D. The common occurrence in the layer of otherwise-rare “shocked” quartz and other mineral types known to be formed only by quickly applied high pressures. E. We have seen several times that silica is very common, so its presence in a layer would not indicate much of anything. Features really observed in the layer that are associated with meteorites but not common elsewhere in rocks include shocked quartz from the impact, soot from wildfires, iridium from the meteorite, and a giant-wave deposit because the meteorite hit water as well as land at the edge of the Yucatan Peninsula. Points Earned: 1/1 Correct Answer: C Your Response: C What cause probably was not important in contributing to extinction of most species on Earth, including the dinosaurs, in a very short interval of time at the end of the Mesozoic Era? 6.
Acid rain, from sulfuric acid from the meteorite hitting sulfur-bearing rocks, and nitric acid from the heat of the meteorite burning the air. A. Cold from the change in Earth’s orbit caused when the meteorite shoved the planet farther from the sun. B. Wildfires caused by great heat from rocks warmed by atmospheric friction while falling back to Earth after being blasted high in the atmosphere by the impact. C. “Impact winter” caused when tiny pieces of dust or other materials, which were put in the air by a meteorite impact, blocked incoming sunshine for months or years, after larger pieces had fallen back to Earth. D. Robert Frost once wrote “Some say the world will end in fire, some say in ice”. For the dinosaurs, both were probably true, with acid thrown in. But the meteorite was not nearly big enough to change the planet’s orbit noticeably. Frost went on “From what I’ve tasted of desire, I hold with those who favor fire, But if it had to perish twice, I think that for destruction ice, Is also great, and would suffice.” Points Earned: 1/1 Correct Answer: B Your Response: B Which of the following is not a part of the modern theory of evolution? 7. Children are more similar to their parents than to other individuals from their parents’ generation. A. Diversity exists within a species, and “experiments” that tend to promote diversity sometimes occur during reproduction.
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