Chapter

Dinosaur Extinction

J. David Archibald and David E. Fastovsky

in The Dinosauria

Published by University of California Press

Published in print June 2004 | ISBN: 9780520242098
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520941434 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520242098.003.0033
Dinosaur Extinction

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The disappearance of nonavian dinosaurs is only a small part of a greater class of extinctions known as “mass extinctions.” Mass extinctions are global events characterized by unusually high rates of extinction. The five episodes of mass extinctions in Earth history are the Permo-Triassic extinction, the Late Ordovician extinction, the Late Devonian extinction, the Triassic-Jurassic extinction, and the Cretaceous-Tertiary (K/T) extinction. This chapter focuses on patterns of geologic and biotic changes that occurred during the Cretaceous-Tertiary (K/T) extinction. It also highlights the similarities and differences in interpretations of geologic and fossil records. It concludes with two scenarios explaining the differing views about dinosaur extinction.

Keywords: nonavian dinosaurs; extinction; mass extinctions; Permo-Triassic extinction; Late Ordovician extinction; Late Devonian extinction; Triassic-Jurassic extinction; Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction; dinosaur extinction

Chapter.  11274 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Evolutionary Biology

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