PerspectiveGeology

North American Devastation or Global Cataclysm?

Science  23 Nov 2001:
Vol. 294, Issue 5547, pp. 1668-1669
DOI: 10.1126/science.1066727

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Summary

Some 65 million years ago, a massive asteroid struck Yucatan at the southern margin of North America, ending the age of dinosaurs. This impact had devastating results for North American ecosystems. But was this devastation global or regional? As Flannery explains in his Perspective, records from the Southern Hemisphere have failed to show the "fern spikes" that signal catastrophic ecosystem disruption. But Vajda et al. report such a spike in records from New Zealand. Researchers may need to rethink of the impact of the asteroid strike.