A Short Introduction To The Study Of The Extinction Of The Dinosaurs

735 words - 3 pages

Various theories have been put forward for the mass-extinction about 65 million years ago at the end of the cretaceous period that caused the extinction of the dinosaurs: These range from disease to tropical cyclones and even alien abductions have been suggested. However the most popular theory is that a giant meteor struck the Earth. This came about from guesswork and from a high level of the rare amount Iridium found at the boundary between Cretaceous and Tertiary rocks 65 million years old: this is likely to be caused by either of two things: from cosmic matter, i.e. a meteorite, or from the mantle inside the Earth, i.e. from volcanoes. The most popular theory remains the Meteor ...view middle of the document...

All the big dinosaurs died out: small mammals and birds (the main survivors) were warm blooded allowing them to regulate their own body temperatures; and many mammals could simply hibernate the dark periods. They were able to adapt and vary their food sources: they were mainly scavengers using whatever was able whether it be ferns or grasses (a wider range of food than the larger herbivores. Larger plants would have also suffered more as more photosynthesis was needed to keep them going). Ferns were one plant survivor, allowing animals which feed on them to also be survivors. Animals and plants which were not able to survive the changed conditions, or for who's food sources were not able to survive the changed conditions, simply died out causing a mass extinction of many plants and animals, most notably the dinosaurs.Despite its popularity, the Meteor Impact theory is not without its problems. Debate between experts continues over fallout patterns, the size versus the length of time particles could remain...

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