Evolutionary Catastrophes by Vincent Courtillot
The Science of Mass Extinction

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Why 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 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.

About Vincent Courtillot

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Vincent Courtillot is Professor of Geophysics at the University of Paris (Denis Diderot).
Published September 28, 1999 by Cambridge University Press. 188 pages
Genres: Nature & Wildlife, Professional & Technical, Science & Math, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

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Originally published in France in 1995, this slim volume by a professor of geology at the University of Paris attempts to explain the causes of mass extinctions that have occurred over the past 300 million years.

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Historic basalt eruptions haven't done so, but we're talking eruptions 500 times larger than any ever seen....

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