A panel of 41 scientists reviewing 20 years worth of research has concluded that a giant asteroid smacking into Earth is the only plausible explanation for the extinction of the dinosaurs around 65 million years ago.
Scientists have concluded that the cause of the so-clled Cretaceous-Tertiary (KT) extinction was a 9 mile-wide asteroid slamming into Earth at Chicxulub in what is not Mexico.
“We now have great confidence that an asteroid was the cause of the KT extinction. This triggered large-scale fires, earthquakes measuring more than 10 on the Richter scale, and continental landslides, which created tsunamis,” said Joanna Morgan of Imperial College London, a co-author of the review. via Science Daily
The asteroid is thought to have hit Earth with a force a billion times stronger than the atomic bomb at Hiroshima.
Morgan said the “final nail in the coffin for the dinosaurs” came when blasted material flew into the atmosphere, shrouding the planet in darkness, causing a global winter and “killing off many species that couldn’t adapt to this hellish environment.” via News Daily
Gareth Collins, another co-author from Imperial College, said the asteroid impact created a “hellish day” that signaled the end of the 160-million-year reign of the dinosaurs, but also turned out to be a great day for mammals.
Please note that this widespread theory dinosaur extinction being the key reason of why present-day mammals evolved is contradicted by 2007 ‘tree of life’ research, tracing the history of all 4,500 ‘modern’ mammals on Earth to a case of global warming that came 10 million years after the dinosaurs were extinct. via Science Daily
More reading: includes interesting video about asteroid hitting Earth: From Sodom & Gomorrah to Mexico | Asteroids in Action.