The Japan Times, February 14, 1997
Evidence of dinosaur-killing meteor found by scientists off Florida coast
BOSTON (Reuter) Layers of sediment collected from the ocean floor off the coast of Florida suggest that a massive meteorite struck the earth 65 million years ago and led to the extinction of dinosaurs, scientists said Wednesday.
Sediment cores collected by an international team of scientists aboard the JOIDES Resolution drilling ship indicate that 70 percent to 80 percent of Earth's species were killed in the collision, they said.
The cores contain "a really beautifully preserved record of what the oceans were like in the distant past," said Dr. Richard Norris, a paleontologist from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in Massachusetts.
"We can go back and look in the distant past, and look at the oceans and the climate and the kinds of organisms that were alive at that time, what they were really like," he said.
JOIDES, the Joint Oceanographic Institutions for Deep Earth Sampling, is funded by 20 countries and is managed by Joint Oceanographic Institutions Inc., a nonprofit group of 10 major U.S. oceanographic institutes.
Scientists theorize that the impact of the 10-km-wide meteor caused dust and gases and other materials to be spewed into the atmosphere, blocking out the sun and killing off microorganisms, setting off a chain reaction. The blast is dated at about the same time the dinosaurs died out.