Evolutionary Catastrophes: The Science of Mass Extinction,Vincent Courtillot (Translation by Joe McClinton), 2000, Cambridge University Press, New York, 164p. (Hardback $24.95) ISBN: 0-521-58392-6.

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Every schoolchild today “knows” that the extinction that killed the dinosaurs was caused by a meteorite impact so devastating that it practically wiped out life on Earth. For most of the populace, this “event” at the end of the Cretaceous is the “Great Extinction”—never mind that there are several others, some with even more impressive taxonomic kill ratios. The Terminal Cretaceous is everyone's favorite because it wiped out those most popular of all extinct creatures,...

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