This just in; new light from the table of the science gods ...
A massive crater in Antarctica may have been caused by a meteor that wiped out more than 90 percent of the species on Earth 250 million years ago, an American geologist said Wednesday.
The 300-mile-wide crater lies hidden more than a mile beneath a sheet of ice and was discovered by scientists using satellite data, Ohio State University geologist Ralph von Frese said.
Von Frese said the satellite data suggests the crater could date back about 250 million years to the time of the Permian-Triassic extinction, when almost all animal life on Earth died out, paving the way for dinosaurs to rise to prominence.
A Strong Candidate
The crater was found in what's known as the Wilkes Land region of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet.
"This is a strong candidate for the cause of the extinction," von Frese told The Associated Press in a telephone interview from Ohio.
"This Wilkes Land impact is much bigger than the impact that killed the dinosaurs, and probably would have caused catastrophic damage at the time," he said.
Similar claims were made in 2004 when a team led by Luann Becker of the University of California reported that a crater off the northwest coast of Australia showed evidence of a large meteor impact at the time of the early extinction.
That team relied heavily on core samples provided by an oil company drilling in the region as evidence for its findings.