Did asteroid kill the dinosaurs? This study reveals shocking details | Tech News

Did asteroid kill the dinosaurs? This study reveals shocking details

A new study has revealed shocking details behind the extinction of dinosaurs, and it is not pointing at an asteroid.

| Updated on: Sep 24 2022, 18:47 IST
NASA DART Mission in pics: Amazing Attack on Asteroid!
Asteroid killed dinosaurs on Earth
1/6 NASA with its Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) Mission spacecraft is all set to collide with a non-hazardous asteroid called Dimorphos in order to test planetary defence on Monday, September 26. The learnings from this asteroid attack will be used to protect Earth from asteroids that are heading for a collision with our planet. According to NASA, this will be the world's first mission to deflect an asteroid in space. NASA’s DART, built and managed by the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Maryland, will demonstrate and test asteroid deflection by kinetic impactor. (Bloomberg)
Asteroid killed dinosaurs on Earth
2/6 Dimorphos, the asteroid moonlet of Didymos poses no threat to Earth. The DART spacecraft had recently got its first look at Didymos, the double-asteroid system that includes its target, Dimorphos. It is being said that in 2024, the European Space Agency (ESA) will send a space probe to Dimorphos as part of the space mission HERA. The aim of the mission is to visually investigate the aftermath of the DART probe impact. (NASA )
Asteroid killed dinosaurs on Earth
3/6 When to watch: The live broadcast of the event will start on September 26 at 6 p.m., EDT. The spacecraft will impact its target asteroid at 7:14 p.m. EDT, while at 8:00 p.m. ET, the research organisation will host a post-impact press briefing. (AFP)
Asteroid killed dinosaurs on Earth
4/6 Where to watch: The historic collision can be watched live online as NASA will be broadcasting the same. NASA will broadcast the live coverage of DART’s impact with the asteroid Dimorphos on NASA TV and its several social media handles like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. (AFP)
Asteroid killed dinosaurs on Earth
5/6 About asteroids: According to NASA, More than 100 tons of dust and sand sized particles are bombarded towards Earth everyday. While, about once a year, an automobile-sized asteroid hits Earth's atmosphere, creates an impressive fireball, and burns up before reaching the surface. Every 2,000 years or so, a meteoroid the size of a football field hits Earth and causes significant damage to the area. Only once every few million years, an object large enough to threaten Earth's civilization comes along. Impact craters on Earth, the moon and other planetary bodies are evidence of these occurrences. (AP)
Asteroid killed dinosaurs on Earth
6/6 Space rocks smaller than about 25 meters (about 82 feet) will most likely burn up as they enter the Earth's atmosphere and cause little or no damage. By comparison, asteroids that populate the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, and pose no threat to Earth, can be as big as 940 kilometers (about 583 miles) across. (MINT_PRINT)
Asteroid killed dinosaurs on Earth
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Is asteroid strike the main reason behind the disappearance of dinosaurs? Know what the study says. (Pixabay)

The reason behind the extinction of dinosaurs has always been blamed on a massive asteroid strike around 66 million years ago. But is it the whole truth? This latest study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) journal contradicts the long believed asteroid theory! It suggests that dinosaurs were already on the way out even before that fateful event of an asteroid impact. In fact, the asteroid impact merely hurried the process that was already happening. The proof? Fossil eggs from China suggest that the number of dinosaurs and diversity was already declining.

According to the old theory behind the extinction of dinosaurs, all the non-avian dinosaurs were killed either by the explosion itself or the acid rain and darkness, which lasted for decades. The strike of the giant asteroid had unleashed energy equivalent to 10 billion atomic bombs. The disappearance of the non-avian dinosaurs on Earth gave space for the emergence of mammals as the dominant animal group on Earth, the report suggested. However, the debate is still on, whether or not non-avian dinosaur biodiversity declined prior to the end-Cretaceous mass extinction remains controversial.

Dinosaur egg Fossils that tell a tale

Researchers collected over 1,000 dinosaur eggshell samples from a 150-m-thick stratigraphically continuous fossil-rich sequence in the Shanyang Basin of central China, which is one of the most abundant dinosaur areas from Late Cretaceous sequence. The researchers have analyzed over 5,500 Rock samples using computer modelling to accurately date them.

The study revealed a decline in dinosaur diversity in the region and around 1000 dinosaur egg fossils came from three main species - Macroolithus yaotunensis, Elongatoolithus elongatus, and Stromatoolithus pinglingensis. The fossils also showed that large-bodied, long-necked dinosaurs also lived there in the same era around 66.4 and 68.2 million years ago.

Hence, the low number of dinosaur species for the last few million years is expected to result from global climate fluctuations and massive volcanic eruptions. “The end-Cretaceous catastrophic events, such as the Deccan Traps and bolide impact, probably acted on an already vulnerable ecosystem and led to nonavian dinosaur extinction,” the study said.

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First Published Date: 24 Sep, 18:47 IST