Is an asteroid behind the extinction of dinosaurs?

Dinosaurs, which roamed the Earth millions of years ago, were completely wiped out from Earth. An asteroid may well have been the reason.

| Updated on: Aug 03 2022, 13:05 IST
Dinosaurs and asteroid
Dinosaurs went extinct around 65 million years ago and an asteroid strike is being blame for it. Here’s why. (Pixabay)
Dinosaurs and asteroid
Dinosaurs went extinct around 65 million years ago and an asteroid strike is being blame for it. Here’s why. (Pixabay)

Dinosaurs are one of the most popular creatures among science fiction movie genre fans because of their sheer large size as well as fearsome demeanour. Numerous movies have tried to capture what it would've been like to live with these fierce predators. It was no wonder that the Jurassic Park series from Steven Spielberg is one of the highest grossing movies of all time. Dinosaurs were humongous creatures which roamed the Earth around 65 million years ago. These creatures were the dominant species on Earth from the Triassic to the Cretaceous period, a span of nearly 230 million years, before an asteroid strike caused their extinction.

Around 65 million years ago, these fascinating species, along with almost two-thirds of creatures on Earth went extinct. According to the Alvarez hypothesis proposed in 1980 by father and son duo Luis and Walter Alvarez, the extinction was caused by a massive asteroid which crashed on Earth more than 65 million years ago. The asteroid terraformed the planet which has made it habitable for humans today but likely was the reason which started the extinction of dinosaurs.

Scientists have apparently even found the site where the asteroid crash-landed. The asteroid crashed in Chicxulub, near the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. The impact would've caused the formation of huge tidal waves and an impact crater almost 140KM wide. The impact would've caused the land material to splatter into space, changing the Earth into a nuclear winter like environment as the Sun would have been totally blocked across the Earth by the dust for months, if not years.

Further, the impact would've caused massive volcanic eruptions and earthquakes. According to scientists, these apocalypse-like conditions would've been the major factor behind the extinction of dinosaurs.

Scientists have also discovered the origin of the asteroid which crashed-landed on Earth. It would've originated between the orbit of Mars and Jupiter. And although scientists say an asteroid could again impact the Earth, it is a 250-million-year cycle and is very likely to miss the lifetimes of our future generations and by the time one does come along, humans would be technologically so advanced they would be able to deal with the problem of any asteroid.

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First Published Date: 03 Aug, 13:05 IST
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