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The Planet Earth:
Did Moroccan Meteorite Cause Extinctions?

Meteor streaks through Earth's sky - source Nine Planets
A meteor streaks through Earth's sky
click to enlarge SEDS Nine Planets image
A team of explorers from Louisiana State University, who uncovered a huge meteor impact crater in the Moroccan desert of North Africa, describe it as the second mark of an ancient mass extinction of life on Earth, according to The Scotsman daily newspaper in Edinburgh.

When the meteorite struck the desert some 380 million years ago, it may have killed off as much as 40 percent of Earth's marine species.

The other major scar on Earth's surface is a large impact crater caused by an asteroid, or maybe a comet, 65 million years ago. That one may have wiped out three-quarters of the species living on Earth at the time, including dinosaurs, when it crashed at Chixculub off Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula.

The much older Moroccan impact was at a time that archaeologists refer to as the Kacak-otomari extinction period.

Major Extinctions
Yrs Ago
Yucatan6575 %
Permian24596 %
Morocco38040 %
Ordovician44085 %
The explorers were near Rissani, Morocco, looking at Devonian rock formations in the Anti Atlas desert when they uncovered a combination of rock formations, minerals, and carbon isotopes like those found in the Yucatan and around other impact craters.

The explorers found fossils of what they suggested were many species in the Moroccan rock layers just above the impact layer. The fossils gave the impression that those species had appeared on Earth after the disaster.

Apparently there were multiple catastrophes over the eons that affected the evolution of life on Earth. In addition to Yucatan 65 miles years ago and Morocco 380 million years ago, a major extinction at the end of the Permian Period, 245 million years ago, saw 96 percent of species disappear from Earth.

And then, at the end of the Ordovician Period 440 million years ago, 85 percent of all species seem to have perished.

To learn more about meteorites:
  • Evidence of second huge meteor impact Scotsman

  • Meteors, Meteorites and Impacts SEDS Nine Planets

  • Asteroid Comet Impact Hazards Website NASA

  • Near-Earth Object Program NASA

  • Near-Earth Asteroid Tracking NASA

  • Near Earth Objects Information Centre U.K.

  • The discovery of the Sirente crater field

  • Impact Crater Found In Italy

  • Meteorites Recovered Far Shores News

  • Turkmenistan News Net

  • Guide to Turkmenistan Lonely Planet

  • Perspectives on Central Asia
  • Lesotho CIA World Factbook

  • Lesotho Resources African Studies Center, UPenn

  • Meteor caused Lesotho 'poltergeist' BBC

  • Meteor and Poltergeist Lesotho Daily

  • Committee for the Scientific Investigation
       of Claims of the Paranormal
       Poltergeist debunked - Skeptical Inquirer

  • American Association for Critical Scientific
       Investigation into Claimed Hauntings
       Poltergeist debunked - AACSICH

  • Astronomes Amateurs du Luxembourg AAL

  • The Daily Grail TDG

  • Meteorite impact 'saved Christianity' BBC

  • Constantine c.274-337

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