The Science of Mass Extinction
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Evolutionary Catastrophes by Vincent Courtillot
Book DescriptionWhy did the dinosaurs and two-thirds of all living species vanish from the face of the Earth sixty-five million years ago? Throughout the history of life a small number of catastrophic events have caused mass extinction, and changed the path of evolution forever. Two main theories have emerged to account for these dramatic events: asteroid impact, and massive volcanic eruptions, both leading to nuclear-like winter. In recent years, the impact hypothesis has gained precedence, but Vincent Courtillot suggests that cataclysmic volcanic activity can be linked not only to the K-T mass extinction, but to most of the main mass extinction events in the history of the earth. Courtillot's book, first published in 1999, debunks some of the myths surrounding one of the most controversial arguments in science. This story will fascinate everyone interested in the history of life and death on our planet.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780521891189
(228mm x 152mm x 10mm)
Imprint: Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publish Date: 7-Mar-2002
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
UK Kirkus Review » The latest book about the death of the dinosaurs and rocks from space looks like a late addition to the genre. In fact, it was one of the first, having been published in French in 1995. The English edition has been slightly updated (but only to 1997), and the language is rather stilted. Even so, this verion of the story is especially interesting because it presents the viewpoint of a geologist who emphasizes the possible role of volcanic eruptions in extinction events and has doubts about the impact from space scenario. Probably not an ideal introduction to the subject, but intriguing for anyone who has already read some of the rival publications. (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - Vincent Courtillot
Vincent Courtillot is Professor of Geophysics at the University of Paris, heads a research group at Institut de Physique du Globe and is special advisor to the French Ministry of National Education, Research and Technology.
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