Chapter One: The Seductive Allure of Dinosaurs
Chapter Two: Earlier Extinction Hypotheses
Chapter Three: Contrasting Volcanic and Impact Hypotheses
Chapter Four: Enormous Eruptions and Disappearing Seaways
Chapter Five: The Fatal Impact
Page 47: "In both marine and terrestrial rock layers, or sequences, many of the plants and animals that became extinct at or near the end of the Age of Dinosaurs drop out of hte record abruptly as one moves from lower, older rocks documenting the end of the Age of Dinosaurs up into higher, younger rocks representing the beginning of the Age of Mammals. Such an abrupt disappearance of many forms of single-celled plankton in the marine limestones near Bubbio, Italy, led Walter Alvarez and his colleagues to wonder how long these extinctions really took.
"Between the white limestone representing the end of the Age of Dinosaurs and the pink limestore representing the start of the Age of Mammals lies a three-eighths of an inch thick (1 cm thick) bed of clay. Alvarez discussed this problem with his father (Nobel-laureate physicist, Luis Alvarez) and several of his father's associates. In the end, they felt that they might get some idea of how long it took to deposit this layer of clay by looking at the concentration of an element called iridium. Iridium (Ir) is one of the platinum group elements and has an atomic number of 77."Chapter Six: Direct Evidence of Catastrophe
"Throughout the 1980s, the proponents of the impact scenario searched feverishly through geologic data and satellite imagery for the "smoking gun," or, more appropriately, for traces of the "festering wound" inflicted on the Earth's crust by such an impact.
"The Earth has long been bombarded by extraterrestrial objects. Although the rate of impacts appears to have decreased in the last 4.5 billion years since the year first formed, extraterrestrial objects (large enough to pass through the atmosphere without burning up) continue to hit the earth with tremendous force. ... Estimates of the frequency of crater impact suggest that a meteor large enough to leave a crater 6 miles across hits the Earth about once every 100,000 years." -- pp. 67 - 68.
"Another serious candidate was actually discovered as the result of exploration for oil in 1981. However, little attention was paid to the announcement by Glen Penfield and his colleagues because it was before the search for the K-T impact crater had actually begun. In an ironic twist of fate, most of the drilling-core samples that documented the geologic evidence at this site were destroyed by a fire in the warehouse where they were stored. Consequently, the crater's possible existence and relationship to the scenarios involving the K-T extinctions only came to light in the early 1990s. Studies...the site is located near the town of Chicxulub. It lies partly on the northwest corner of the Yucatan Peninsula and extends into the adjacent Gulf of Mexico." -- p. 69
Chapter Seven: Patterns of Extinction and Survival
Chapter Eight: Our Hazy View of Time at the K-T Boundary
Part II: Dead or Alive
Chapter Nine: Living Dinosaurs
Chapter Ten: Dinosaurs Challenge Evolution
Chapter Eleven: Dinosaurs and the Hierarchy of Life
Chapter Twelve: The Evolutionary Map for Dinosaurs
Chapter Thirteen: Death by Decree
Chapter Fourteen: The Road to Jurassic Park
Chapter Fifteen: Crossing the Boundary
Chapter Sixteen: Diversification and Decline
Chapter Seventeen: The Real Great Dinosaur Extinction
Chapter Eighteen: The Third Wave