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Activity 4 - The Mesozoic-Cenozoic Boundary EventA

Use the resources listed below to help you complete this activity.


To learn more about this topic, visit the following web sites:

The Extinction Event at the End of the Mesozoic

A Blast from the Past, National Museum of Natural History
This site offers several pages about the mass extinction at the end the Cretaceous period (at the end of the Mesozoic Era) and the beginning of the Tertiary Period (early Cenozoic Era) including the following:

The Causes of Extinction

Chicxulub and the Cretaceous Tertiary Boundary, NASA/UA Space Imagery Center's Impact Cratering Series
This site is under construction but it already has detailed information. In addition to a description of the asteroid hypothesis, the homage links browses to information about local and global effects of the impact, plus a glossary under the Students and Teachers button.


Part A: Changes in Climate and Life at the End of the Mesozoic Era

To complete the investigation, each student group will need:

  • Internet access

To view information about paleoclimate before and after the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary, visit the following web sites:

Cretaceous: Tectonics and Paleoclimate, Museum of Paleontology
A description of the paleoclimate in the Late Cretaceous

Late Cretaceous Climate versus Paleocene Climate, Paleomap Project
Compare climate maps of the Late Cretaceous to the early Paleogene (Paleocene). View the entire list of climate maps.

The Paleocene, National Museum of Natural History
The paleoclimate plus flora and fauna that dominated the early Paleogene

To view information about organisms living before and after the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary, visit the following web sites:

Cretaceous Period: Life, Museum of Paleontology
The flora and fauna of the Late Cretaceous

The End-Cretaceous (K-T) Extinction, Hooper Virtual Paleontology Museum
Species effected by the catastrophic event that resulted in the mass extinction at the K-T boundary

Paleocene Mammals of the World, Museum of Paleontology
The first 10 million years of the age of mammals.


Inquiring Further:

To learn more about other mass-extinction events in Earth's history, visit the following web sites:

Mass Extinctions, Hooper Virtual Paleontological Museum
Read a short discussion about mass extinctions in general. At the bottom of the page, select between two different menus to find descriptions of mass extinctions through the Phanerozoic and PreCambrian Eons.

Interested in just browsing through different links on mass extinction. Try the selection under the Extinction section on


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Last updated: May 11, 2010

This project is supported, in part, by the National Science Foundation and the AGI Foundation. Opinions expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the Foundation.




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