This vial contains a soil sample from the KT boundary layer, scientifically known as the Cretaceous- Tertiary (KT) extinction layer. First recognized by scientists in the 1980s and then confirmed worldwide, this layer contained high levels of micro meteorites and the element Iridium, which is extremely rare here on Earth but abundant in asteroids. In the early 1990s, a 180km wide crater was discovered in the Gulf of Mexico and helped to solidify the asteroid extinction theory. 75% of all species on Earth vanished, including the terrestrial and marine dinosaurs. This allowed for the evolutionary growth of smaller classes or species, especially mammals, which in the wake of the KT extinction became the dominant life on the planet.
Top brown layer: Paleocene Age, where new life rose after extinction. Middle black layer: extinction event layer with Iridium 77. Bottom gray layer: Cretaceous Age, when dinosaurs were still alive.
Vial measures 2 1/2 by 1/2 inches. Comes with the explanatory flyer.