By William Allen/Post-Dispatch Toronot Globe and Mail | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), December 18, 1995 | Go to article overview
Save to active project


William Allen/Post-Dispatch Toronot Globe and Mail, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Death On Ice

Scientists have discovered a "horizon of death" in Antarctica that may reveal direct victims of the catastrophic event 65 million years ago that killed off the dinosaurs and most other species.

The horizon of death, as the researchers call it, is a bed of fish bones covering more than four square miles of Seymour Island near the Antarctic Peninsula. The bed rests directly above a layer of iridium, an element that is rare on Earth but gives a telltale sign of a meteorite impact.

The bed's discovery was reported in November by Purdue University paleontologist William Zinsmeister. He found it during an expedition earlier this year funded by the National Science Foundation.

The horizon of death is a time that scientists call the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary. It's named for the boundary between two geologic periods. A widely held theory holds that a giant space rock hit the Earth and set off the mass extinction at the time of the boundary.

Scientists can now compare fossils found at the site with those found elsewhere in the world to piece together what caused the mass death. Zinsmeister believes the event may have been more complex than a one-shot execution.

"The fossil record in Antarctica suggests that the final extinction event wasn't immediate, but rather occurred over a period up to 500,000 years," he said. "We actually see a decrease in the global diversity of life starting between 8 million and 10 million years before the impact."

The events at the end of the Cretaceous period probably included climate change, volcanic activity and finally the mega-rock impact or some other equally catastrophic event, he said. William Allen/Post-Dispatch

***** Genetic Link To Smoking

The instinct to smoke may be more fixed in people's genes than the urge to drink heavily.

That's the conclusion of a study by Washington University School of Medicine researchers Andrew Heath and Pamela Madden. The study looked at the life histories of identical and fraternal twins in several countries.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article



Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?