SEP 24, 2017 10:33 AM PDT

What Really Killed the Dinosaurs?

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard


There are many theories about how the dinosaurs died out, but one of the best-accepted ones of all is how a massive asteroid collided with the planet and resulted in conditions so harsh that most forms of life died out. For the most part, this is probably still true, but many researchers now think it was the ensuing events from the asteroid strike that caused the mass extinction rather than the asteroid strike itself.

Assuming an asteroid nearly 6 miles wide slammed into the Yucatan peninsula more than 66 million years ago, models indicate that it would have sent devastating effects echoing across the entire planet in the form of earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions. Such an impact would have also thrown up billions of tons of super-heated material into the atmosphere.

After finally raining back down by the effects of gravity, this ultra-hot material would then trigger uncontrollable global fires, enabling several billion tons of soot to rise into the air; this blocked out enough sunlight to disrupt plants' photosynthesis cycles and resulted in survival issues for creatures relying on plants for food and oxygen.

Although the soot cleared up from the skies eventually, only the most robust life forms survived the long, hellish experience. Those life forms were required to start all over again, adapting to the new conditions and evolving to survive the new challenges that ensued.

No models are perfect, so there's always a reason to believe that things happened differently than today's theories describe. Fortunately, modern science continues to challenge us to think outside the box and consider a bigger picture for how and why things happened the way they did.

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
APR 01, 2020
Health & Medicine
APR 01, 2020
Saliva Test can Measure THC Levels in Impaired Drivers
Now that cannabis products are legal in many states across the U.S., law officials need a quick and reliable way to test ...
APR 12, 2020
Plants & Animals
APR 12, 2020
It's Jellyfish Eat Jellyfish Out There...
These Aurelia jellyfish roam the void of the ocean in massive groups, an occurrence that doesn’t happen by acciden ...
APR 14, 2020
Space & Astronomy
APR 14, 2020
Everything You Need to Know About the ESA's Upcoming JUICE Mission
Jupiter is one of the most interesting planets in our solar system, and with that in mind, it may not come off as much o ...
APR 16, 2020
Earth & The Environment
APR 16, 2020
NASA Illustrates the Complexities of Atmospheric Chemistry
What do scientists see when looking at Earth’s atmosphere? Well, it’s complicated, especially the chemistry ...
MAY 01, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
MAY 01, 2020
John Conway: the Late Maths Legend and His Game of Life
If maths is the only universal language, then John Horton Conway is among the few who can speak it perfectly. Unfortunat ...
MAY 26, 2020
Earth & The Environment
MAY 26, 2020
"Green Snow" Expected to Increase in Antarctica
When Antarctica comes to mind, the imagery probably includes a vast, frozen, and barren landscape. However, red and gree ...
Loading Comments...