In a groundbreaking study, scientists have revealed new details about the extinction of dinosaurs and why some species survived the cataclysmic event. The research, published in the journal Nature, was conducted by a team of European scientists from Vrije Universiteit, Uppsala University, and the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility. They found that the Chicxulub meteorite, which struck Earth 66 million years ago, landed during the northern hemisphere’s springtime. This timing might have played a significant role in the survival of some species like mammals, crocodiles, turtles, and birds. The study suggests that the planet’s seasonal climate could have acted as a protective shield for these animals. For instance, colder weather in the southern hemisphere may have served as a protective agent against the devastation caused by the meteorite.
The researchers also discovered that it was not the impact but the aftermath of the meteoroid that led to the extinction of dinosaurs. The global mass extinction likely unfolded during its aftermath, involving rapid climatic deterioration that lasted up to several thousands of years. This new understanding came from studying preserved fish bones that the immediate ramifications of the meteorite’s impact. These fish were buried alive by sediment that drastically shifted when the meteorite made contact with Earth. The study also used advanced techniques like synchrotron X-ray tomography to analyze the specimens, leading to these groundbreaking findings.
The research has opened new avenues for understanding not just the extinction event but also the factors that contributed to the survival of certain species. It adds a new layer to the complex puzzle of Earth’s history, offering insights that could be crucial for studying other mass extinction events and the resilience of life on our planet. The study has been hailed as a significant step forward in paleontology, shedding light on one of the most intriguing questions that have captivated scientists and the general public alike: What exactly led to the extinction of dinosaurs?
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