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News Picks : New Jersey quarry contains rare fossils dating to mass extinction event

By: Physics Today
05 January 2016
New York Times: Some 66 million years ago, about three-fourths of Earth’s plant and animal species were killed off over a geologically short period of time, perhaps because of a meteor impact that disrupted the global environment. Although billions of animals would have died, few fossils from that period have been uncovered. Now, however, an old quarry behind a Lowe’s retail store in New Jersey has revealed a “bounty of fossils” that date from that “pivotal moment in time.” Most of the fossilized creatures dug up so far have been clams and oysters because that part of New Jersey would have been a shallow sea at the time of the extinction event. However, ancient marine reptiles called mosasaurs have also been found. To preserve the area, Rowan University recently bought it from a private company with the intention of using it as both a dig site and a museum.


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