Sudden and Gradual Molluscan Extinctions in the Latest Cretaceous of Western European Tethys

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Science  22 Nov 1996:
Vol. 274, Issue 5291, pp. 1360-1363
DOI: 10.1126/science.274.5291.1360


Incompleteness of the fossil record has confounded attempts to establish the role of the end-Cretaceous bolide impact in the Late Cretaceous mass extinctions. Statistical analysis of latest Cretaceous outer-shelf macrofossils from western European Tethys reveals (i) a major extinction at or near the Cretaceous-Tertiary (K-T) boundary, probably caused by the impact, (ii) either a faunal abundance change or an extinction of up to nine ammonite species associated with a regression event shortly before the boundary, (iii) gradual extinction of most inoceramid bivalves well before the K-T boundary, and (iv) background extinction of approximately six ammonites throughout the latest Cretaceous.

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