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Meteor impact, extinction linked

Canada

May 14, 2007

A comet or some other extraterrestrial object appears to have slammed into northern Canada 12,900 years ago and triggered an abrupt and catastrophic climate change that wiped out the mammoths, mastodons and sloths that once roamed North America. Evidence of the ecological disaster exists in a thin layer of sediment that has been found from Alberta to New Mexico. The sediment layer contains high concentrations of iridium, fullerenes and other compounds associated with space rocks and impacts. "We have evidence for distribution of impact debris over several thousands of miles over the North American continent." The sediment layer formed 12,900 years ago coincides with both the extinction of the animals and the onset of a mini-ice age that lasted more than 1,000 years.

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