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The Discovery Enterprise

The Last Extinction

9 Feb 2012, 08:05 UTC
The Last Extinction
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Today on Discovery Enterprise we present another exciting
episode of the acclaimed PBS science documentary series NOVA - Last Extinction.

Fifteen thousand years ago, North
America was like the Serengeti on steroids, with mega-creatures
roaming a continent teeming with incredible wildlife. But then suddenly, in a blip
of geologic time, between fifteen and thirty five magnificent large types of
animals went extinct.

In this television exclusive, NOVA joins forces with
prominent scientists to test a startling hypothesis that may finally explain
these sudden and widespread extinctions—that a comet broke apart in the
atmosphere and devastated North America twelve
thousand nine hundred years ago.

For the past four decades, experts have been at odds
over what causes this mass extinction. While mainstream scholars pose that the
changing climate or ancient hunters were likely to blame for driving the beasts
into oblivion, others believe that a comet from deep space may have broken up over
North America.

This would have caused a devastating series of
explosions that decimated the landscape, and wiped out animal populations.

The proof, they claim, lies in the discovery of a
mysterious black mat layer at over fifty sites across the continent. The
materials ...

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