Geomagnetic Polarity Change and Faunal Extinction in the Southern Ocean

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Science  26 May 1967:
Vol. 156, Issue 3778, pp. 1083-1087
DOI: 10.1126/science.156.3778.1083


Paleomnlagnietic polarity changes have been detected in nine deep-sea sedimentary cores (from the Pacific-Antarctic Basin) in which an extinction horizon of a radiolarian assemblage was previously independently determined. The depths of the polarity change 0.7 million years ago and the faunal boundary are closely correlated, confirming that the faunal extinction was locally virtually synchronous. Although the reason for the faunal extinction is unknown. the possibility of causal relationships between faunal extinction and factors directly involved with sedimentation rate, sedimentation rate variation, and sediment type appears to be excluded.