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Monte Carlo simulation, based on known impact rates and a plausible relation between impact and extinction (kill curve), produces patterns of extinction remarkably close to those observed in the Phanerozoic record of fossil genera. This suggests, but does not prove, that bolide impact could be responsible for “background” as well as “mass” extinction. The results do prove that if the true kill curve lies within the family of kill curves used for the simulations, then no extinction mechanism other than bolide impact is necessary to explain the distribution of generic extinctions in the Phanerozoic fossil record.

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