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Summary

Sixty-five million years ago, a comet or asteroid larger than Mount Everest slammed into the Earth, inducing an explosion equivalent to the detonation of 100,000,000 hydrogen bombs. Vaporized detritus blasted through the atmosphere upon impact, falling back to Earth around the globe. Disastrous environmental consequences ensued: a giant tsunami, continent-scale wildfires, darkness, and cold, followed by sweltering greenhouse heat. When conditions returned to normal, half the plant and animal genera on Earth had perished.

This horrific chain of events is now widely accepted as the solution to a great scientific mystery: What caused the extinction of the dinosaurs? Walter Alvarez, one of the Berkeley scientists who discovered evidence of the impact, tells the story behind the development of the initially controversial theory. It is a saga of high adventure in remote locations, of arduous data collection and intellectual struggle, of long periods of frustration ended by sudden breakthroughs, of friendships made and lost, and of the exhilaration of discovery that forever altered our understanding of Earth's geological history.

©1997 Princeton University Press (P)2020 Tantor

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K/T Boundary

This a charming personal account of the scientific search to find & understand the cause of the mass extinction that wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. Note that its not about the dinosaurs themselves who were not at fault for suffering a sudden demise. The author was a major participant in this geological mystery so is writing from first hand experience. He does his best to simply explain basic geological terms & thinking for but inevitably a basic understanding of chemistry & physics will help the layman reader to follow the plot. Its a fascinating story & very well told.

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Great book but why whisper

The reader is so quiet! He’s all up close and whispering into the mic. Quite hard to listen to, which is a shame as the content is great!

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  • ryan moore
  • 21-08-20

Fascinating book!

This is probably my favorite non-fiction book of all time. It details the evidence of the cataclysmic event 65 MYA, and the fallout from it. I am a total junkie and can’t get enough when it comes to anything Chicxulub, so I may be a bit bias. It is definitely science based, but not boring, which is a rare combination. Some authors go too deep to prove how intelligent they are by using words and jargon no one knows, not this book or author. If you’re at all interested in this historic event, you’ll love this book.
I thought the narrator was great too. I am unsure what a previous review about whispering was about, a soft voice, yes, whispering, not quite. Hope you enjoyed it as much as I do.

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  • GDMF
  • 18-02-21

Should be required reading.

This should be required reading in school. Shows our civilization working at its highest levels.

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  • Kyle
  • 22-01-21

classic

very informative, but a little lack luster in narration. kind of drones on in parts that are very interesting.

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  • Dipam
  • 05-10-20

A Great International Piece of Detective Work

How do you go about discovering what may or may not have happened on Planet Earth some 65 million years ago that might have caused the demise of the largest critters to have ever walked the planet (and swam and flew)? Walter Alvarez lets us all in on the secrets in this fascinating book. From iffy hypothesis to the identification of the Chicxulub crater in the Yucatan, he takes the listener on a captivating trip around the world with some of the world's top scientists in several disciplines to piece together what actually happened on that day all those millions of years ago when the Earth experienced an unprecedented physical upheaval that wiped out an estimated 75% of all species of life at that time, including the awesome dinosaurs. The results of his research and that of his fellow researchers was not readily embraced by his scientific colleagues, but ongoing investigations continued to turn up tantalizing clues that eventually formed a picture of the alien impact with Earth that changed the direction of life on our world forever.