An Antarctic Bone Bed

Posted by Chris Parker
Jan 25 2006

W. Zinsmeister was accustomed to scoff at the idea that the Age of Dinosaurs ended violently with the impact of a giant asteroid some 65 million years ago.

He always asked: “Where’s the layer of burnt and twisted dinosaur bones?” His certainty was shaken, however, when he began mapping fossil deposits on Seymour Island, Antarctica.

He didn’t find the dinosaur bones but rather a giant bed of fish bones at least 50 square kilometers in area. Some sort of catastrophe must have annihilated untold millions of fish.

And guess what? This great bone bed was deposited directly on top of that layer of extraterrestrial iridium that marks the 65-million-year-old Cretaceous Tertiary boundary at many sites around the world.

(Hecht, Jeff; “The Island Where the Fish Had Their Chips,” New Scientist, p. 16, November 11, 1995)

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