Mass Extinction and Meteor Collisions With Earth

by: Thor Hansen and Irwin Slesnick

Paleontologists divide extinctions into two broad categories—background extinctions and mass extinctions. Background extinctions occur continuously while mass extinctions are unusual in that they involve very large numbers of species, of very different kinds, dying within a relatively short time—to a geologist 1-2 million years can be a short time. This chapter discusses the recent links that have been made between meteor and asteroid impacts on Earth and the demise of animals like the dinosaurs. The activities include how to find real meteorites in your own yard and modeling the effects of meteorite impacts.

Level

Elementary SchoolMiddle School

Details

Type Book ChapterPub Date 1/1/2006

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