The extinction of an entire race definitely sounds like a nightmare, but it has its place in history. Dinosaurs that have their presence to be witnessed only through screens, movies, and museums faced one such extinction. This species that lived about 65 million years ago has left behind its skeletons to substantiate its existence. The remnants of dinosaurs paved the way for human beings to study and discover what killed the dinosaur.
Dinosaur history timeline
The Earth and its evolution can fall under several eras. It was during the Mesozoic era that the Dinosaur species evolved; the era further divides into:
- The Triassic period– 248 million and 213 million years ago.
- The Jurassic period was 213 to 144 million years ago.
- The Cretaceous period lasted from 144 to 65 million years ago. It was the final period of the era when the extinction of dinosaurs and other species occurred.
Extinction of dinosaurs
Despite the several theories on what could have happened to the dinosaurs, scientific evidence proves that asteroid strikes (asteroids are rock-like bodies that revolve around the sun’s orbit) ignited the extinction of dinosaurs.
What killed the dinosaurs?
- A. Comets
- B. Asteroids
- C. Meteors
- D. Planet Clash
After the asteroid
The dinosaur-killing asteroid that traveled about 60 times the speed of sound landed in the Yucatan Peninsula. Energy equivalent to about billions of nuclear weapons was released when the asteroid hit the ocean’s surface. The bedrock started melting, increasing the temperature to 1000 degrees Celsius.
The heat and the explosion all over led to thermal radiation. The asteroid’s impact led to the oceans pushing themselves hundreds of kilometers away.
The asteroid’s effect triggered volcanic eruptions, with lava covering several kilometers and engulfing a majority of the landscape in India. The drastic shift in the earth’s layers triggered the ocean and led to a tsunami, destroying anything on its way. The waves were several kilometers tall and swept away thousands of kilometers.
There was a collision when the dinosaur-killing asteroid afflicted the earth’s surface with force, which resulted in scatteration after the collision. These scattered portions rained as hot and fiery debris, which led to wild and massive forest fires that probably lasted for months and destructed any vegetation and life.
Following all of this, the smoke, gases, and ashes formed a layer around the earth, blocking any sunlight that could reach it. It made the planet suitable for fungus development. The temperature started dropping, and it started snowing for decades.
All the changing catastrophic conditions that reached its extremities did not serve apt for life and washed out nearly 75% of life. These creatures existed in several types, from a Compsognathus, the smallest of the Dinosaur species, to the largest Patagotitan, and all of it wiped out in the catastrophic occurrence.
Hope this blog helped in gaining knowledge about the extinction of dinosaurs. Check our quiz below to test your understanding.