Asteroid Impact, Not Volcanic Activity, Killed the Dinosaurs, Study Finds
by Chelsea Gohd | Space.com
An asteroid impact, not volcanic activity, killed the dinosaurs, a new study finds.
For decades, scientists have gone back and forth over exactly what caused a mass extinction event 66 million years ago, which destroyed about 75% of all life on Earth, including all of the large dinosaurs. Some have thought that volcanic activity could be to blame, but one new study shows that a giant asteroid impact was the prime culprit.
Scientists have known that the impact, which created the massive Chicxulub impact crater (located in what is now the Yucatán Peninsula in southeast Mexico), was a major contributing factor to this extinction event. But volcanic activity happening at around the same time has raised questions over which could have been the main factor which changed conditions on our planet that led to the demise of Earth’s creatures.
In a new study, researchers from Imperial College London, the University of Bristol and University College London have shown that the asteroid impact, not volcanic activity, was the main reason that about 75% of life on Earth perished at that time, and it did so by significantly interfering with Earth’s climate and ecosystems.