Dinosaur Extinction Event Layer
K-PG (K-T) Boundary Soil Sample
Age: 65.5 Million Years Ago
Trochu, Alberta, Canada.
This specimen a soil sample from the Cretaceous–Paleogene (K–Pg) boundary, formerly known as the Cretaceous–Tertiary (K-T) boundary, is a geological signature. It is usually a thin band of rock and soil. K, the first letter of the German word Kreide (chalk), is the traditional abbreviation for the Cretaceous Period and Pg is the abbreviation for the Paleogene Period. First recognized by scientists in the 1980s then confirmed worldwide, this layer contains high levels of micro meteorites and the element Iridium 77, which is extremely rare here on earth but is abundant in asteroids and other space rocks. In the early 1990s a 93-mile-wide crater was discovered in the Gulf of Mexico and on the Yucatán Peninsula near the town of Chicxulub. The crater was probably caused by the impact of a 6-mile wide space rock traveling at over 124,000 miles per hour. It is thought he impact caused planet-wide severe and prolonged global climatic changes. Other events which caused diseases, changing plant communities, and other geologic events could all have played a role. Lately, dinosaur extinction theories have been the subject of much debate and controversy. Discovery of the crater helped to solidify the asteroid extinction event theory when 75% of all life on Earth vanished, including the all non-avian dinosaurs and most other terrestrial, marine and avian reptiles. This allowed for the evolution of smaller classes of species, especially mammals, which in the wake of the K-Pg extinction event became the dominant life on planet earth.
about 1/2 inch
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