Books  Evolutionary Biology  Evolutionary Biology 

Dinosaurs, Diamonds, and Things from Outer Space: The Great Extinction

By: David Brez Carlisle

241 pages, Figs, tabs

Stanford University Press

Paperback | Dec 1995 | #41335 | ISBN: 0804724946
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NHBS Price: £14.95 $18/€17 approx
Hardback | Dec 1995 | #41336 | ISBN: 0804723923
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NHBS Price: £50.95 $62/€57 approx

About this book

New theory tackling why most life on earth perished sixty-five million years ago. Intended for a broad audience, the book will also be of great interest to scientists - many of whom now agree that an object from outer space hit the earth with unimaginable force sixty-five million years ago. The author suggests that a complex sequence of events occurred, beginning with a nearby star turning into a supernova. Massive radiation causing world-wide forest fires, the collision of comets leading to a `nuclear winter' and the acidification of the oceans followed.

'Carlisle successfully presents various debateable hypotheses, and even throws in his own, to explain the mass extinction of 65 million years ago ... he resists jargon and provides refreshing pockets of anecdotes throughout.' New Scientist


1. Introduction. 2. The badlands of Alberta. 3. Death and survival. 4. The cretaceous-tertiary boundary. 5. The solar system, vortices, and comets. 6. Bolide impacts and vulcanism. 7. Theories of the periodicity of extinctions. 8. Meteors and meteorites. 9. What hit at the cretaceous-tertiary boundary. 10. The energetics of impactors. 11. Supernovae and cometary acceleration. 12. The search for supernova debris. 13. A scenario. 14. Implications for evolution.

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