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The Cretaceous–Tertiary boundary (KTB) mass extinction is primarily known for the demise of the dinosaurs, the Chicxulub impact, and the frequently rancorous thirty-years-old controversy over the cause of this mass extinction. Since 1980 the impact hypothesis has steadily gained support, which culminated in 1990 with the discovery of the Chicxulub crater on Yucatán claimed as the KTB impact site and “smoking gun” that virtually proved this hypothesis. In a perverse twist of fate, this discovery also began the decline of the impact hypothesis, because for the first time it could be tested directly based on the impact crater and impact ejecta in sediments throughout the Caribbean, Central America, and North America. Two decades of multidisciplinary studies amassed a database with a sum total that overwhelmingly reveals the Chicxulub impact as predating the KTB mass extinction in the impact-crater cores, in sections throughout northeastern Mexico and in Brazos River sections of Texas, U.S.A. This paper recounts the highlights of the KTB controversy, the discovery of facts inconsistent with the impact hypothesis, and the resurgence of the Deccan volcanism hypothesis as the most likely cause for the mass extinction.

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