Selectivity of end-Cretaceous marine bivalve extinctions

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Science  21 Apr 1995:
Vol. 268, Issue 5209, pp. 389-391
DOI: 10.1126/science.11536722


Analyses of the end-Cretaceous or Cretaceous-Tertiary mass extinction show no selectivity of marine bivalve genera by life position (burrowing versus exposed), body size, bathymetric position on the continental shelf, or relative breadth of bathymetric range. Deposit-feeders as a group have significantly lower extinction intensities than suspension-feeders, but this pattern is due entirely to low extinction in two groups (Nuculoida and Lucinoidea), which suggests that survivorship was not simply linked to feeding mode. Geographically widespread genera have significantly lower extinction intensities than narrowly distributed genera. These results corroborate earlier work suggesting that some biotic factors that enhance survivorship during times of lesser extinction intensities are ineffectual during mass extinctions.

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