Before Dinosaurs were suddenly demised by an asteroid strike (the Chicxulub asteroid), the long-term climate change was not affecting them, so they were flourishing. Many scientists believe in the asteroid theory while some others think that there was also some intense volcanic activity happening at the same time and at the end of the Cretaceous period, 66 million years ago, the dinosaurs were wiped out.
However, the fact that dinosaurs were thriving before these events is debatable, as well as over millions of years being in decline because of the long-term changes.
Previously, in order to suggest whether dinosaurs may have already been in decline, researchers used the fossil record and some mathematical predictions. Before the asteroid impact, there might have already been species falling. Now, researchers from Imperial College London, University College London and the University of Bristol are using new analysis that models the changing environment and dinosaur species distribution in North America to show that dinosaurs would have thriven if the meteorite had not happened.
Dinosaurs were flourishing before the Chicxulub asteroid killed them
Alessandro Chiarenza, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Earth Science and Engineering at Imperial and the lead researches, said that until the end of the Cretaceous dinosaurs were likely not doomed to extinction. When the asteroid hit, it made the place for other animals to live such lizards, mammals and a minor group of surviving dinosaurs, or, better said, their evolution – birds.
He added that “the results of our study suggest that dinosaurs as a whole were adaptable animals, capable of coping with the environmental changes and climatic fluctuations that happened during the last few million years of the Late Cretaceous. Climate change over prolonged time scales did not cause a long-term decline of dinosaurs through the last stages of this period.”
According to the study published recently in Nature Communications, the dinosaurs were flourishing before the Chicxulub asteroid impact that killed them.
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