A comparison of biotic, sedimentary, and stable isotope patterns across the mass extinctions at the Cenomanian-Turonian and Cretaceous-Tertiary boundaries shows that despite differences in initial trigger, duration, and scale of the two events, reduction of marine primary productivity is a common factor. Our model predicts that zooplankton and suspension feeders will be most severely affected during marine mass extinctions, survivors will be small, and biotic turnover will be concentrated during significant δ13C excursions. The model is thus testable by using data from other mass extinctions.

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