Mass Extinctions and Their Aftermath

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Oxford University Press, UK, Sep 11, 1997 - 328 pages
The first book to review all the evidence concerning both the dinosaur extinctions and all the other major extinctions - of plant, animal, terrestrial, and marine life - in the history of life. All the extinction mechanisms are critically assessed, including meteorite impact, anoxia, and volcanism. - ;Why do mass extinctions occur? The demise of the dinosaurs has been discussed exhaustively, but has never been out into the context of other extinction events. This is the first systematic review of the mass extinctions of all organisms, plant and animal, terrestrial and marine, that have occurred in the history of life. This includes the major crisis 250 million years ago which nearly wiped out all life on Earth. By examining current paleontological, geological, and sedimentological evidence of environmental changes, the cases for explanations based on climate change, marine regressions, asteroid or comet impact, anoxia, and volcanic eruptions are all critically evaluated. -
 

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Contents

The study of mass extinctions
1
Extinctions in the early history of the Metazoa
24
one disaster after another
39
the Kellwasser
62
Extinctions within and at the close of the Triassic
142
Minor extinctions of the Jurassic
161
Minor mass extinctions of the marine Cretaceous
170
Death at the CretaceousTertiary boundary
184
Cenozoic extinctions
223
The causes of mass extinctions
242
References
253
Index
309
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