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Science File | IN BRIEF

Mass Extinction Detailed

November 22, 2003|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

A massive asteroid may have collided with Earth 251 million years ago and killed 90% of all life, an extinction even more severe than the meteorite impact believed to have snuffed out the dinosaurs 66 million years ago.

A new study, based on meteorite fragments in Antarctica, suggests that the greatest extinction in the planet's history may have been triggered by a mountain-sized space rock that smashed into a southern land mass.

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