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The Late Devonian Mass Extinction: The Frasnian/Famennian Crisis (The Critical Moments and Perspectives in Earth History and Paleobiology) Paperback – 27 Mar 1996


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"McGhee thoroughly assesses knowledge about the Late Devonian mass extinction, during which at least 70 percent of species vanished. The text is so comprehensive and well written, though, that it could serve as a basic resource for thinking about all extinctions, mass or otherwise: the severity of the extinction, its duration, the various organisms affected, and likely causes. His approach is based first on a description of the evidence, and then on an analysis of the hypotheses... The objectivity of the book is enhanced by the author's willingness to even disagree with his own previous work... Anyone interested in extinctions should have this book." -- "Choice"

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Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars 4 reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The facts don't support his theory 11 July 2001
By Geoduck - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
As with the rest of the books in the Critical Moments series this one goes into exhaustive detail of the timeline of the event in question, the effect on each different Phyla, global evidence and local ramifications. This part of the book is up to the exceptional standards of the rest of the series.
Where the author goes wrong is in his belief in that this extinction event was the result of a meteor impact. Just taking the data presented in this book shows that the theory doesn't hold up. The timing doesn't work (the event took over a million years). Isotopic (iridium) data doesn't support it. The impact craters are too small and at the wrong points in time. The pattern of extinction does not match what would be expected from a major impact event. The list goes on and on. The author tries gamely to explain away the irregularities but by the end of the book I found it clear that the extinction was almost without question not the result of an impact.
That said this is a good book. The author covers the time period and the event in exceptional detail and does cover many of the other competing theories very well. It's just unfortunate that the author could not set aside his cherished preconceptions. But perhaps that is a tough thing to ask for any of us.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book with lots of follow up references for the topic 13 Aug. 2012
By geologytype - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book arrived on time and in advertised condition and the contents were fascinating. Anyone interested in just what evidence there is for meteor impact, global heating, or any of the other proposed causes of mass extinctions will find this book well researched and well written. I recommend it to anyone interested in how earth geology may be shown to be closer to that of our neighboring planets (by the Curiosity Mars Rover)than has been up-to-now appreciated. Buy it!
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible book by an amazing author. 20 Jun. 2016
By Nicole - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the best book I have ever read. Unbelievably, shockingly, captivatingly amazing. It is not quite for the inexperienced laymen; it is quite technical and uses a great number of heavy topics in passing that are difficult to understand if one has no previous background in them. However, if you understand things like punctuated equilibrium, Hexactinellids and other major taxa, basic chemistry, and diagenetic decomposition, you will be 100% in love with this book.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 20 Aug. 2014
By Erik Johnson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
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