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Journal Article

Disappearance of the Dinosaurs

Neil C. Koch
Journal of Paleontology
Vol. 41, No. 4 (Jul., 1967), pp. 970-972
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1302167
Page Count: 3

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Topics: Selenium, Shales, Dinosaurs, Animals, Plants, Toxicity, Vegetation, Forest soils, Paleontology, Species extinction
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Disappearance of the Dinosaurs
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Abstract

Selenium may have been the main cause for the extinction of dinosaurs and other animal species at the end of the Mesozoic Era. Selenium was deposited throughout the world from volcanic lava and gases in Mesozoic time. The decay of selenium-bearing rocks probably produced seleniferous vegetation. These toxic plants were eaten by the herbivorous dinosaurs, whereas the meat-eating animals were slowly poisoned by the selenium ingested and retained in the fatty tissue and bones of foraging animals.

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