An asteroid killed dinosaurs on Earth? Here is the first link found
Scientists have discovered a well-preserved leg of a dinosaur whose history dates back to the day of an asteroid impact. Know what scientists have found.
We have all often heard of the impact of a giant asteroid on Earth around 66 million years ago, which killed all the dinosaurs. It was the massive asteroid Chicxulub and it played a crucial role in the extinction of dinosaurs as well as a wide range of other environmental and biotic organisms. However, no strong evidence has ever been found that an asteroid killed dinosaurs. So far, it seems. Scientists recently discovered a well-preserved dinosaur leg believed to date back to when the asteroid hit Earth. The dinosaur limb is complete with skin found at the emergent fossil site of Tanis in the US state of North Dakota. But it’s not the long-surviving fossil that’s of primary importance, it’s actually the depiction of the actual day a giant asteroid hit Earth.
The discovered dinosaur fossil and several other ancient specimens were actually killed and buried the same day the asteroid impacted. There are very few dinosaur remains that have been found in rocks to study the asteroid impact, and to have a specimen from this era would be extraordinary in itself, the BBC reported. Sir David Attenborough, biologist, natural historian and broadcaster, will review this newly discovered dinosaur fossil.
It’s not just the dinosaur fossil…
Along with the dinosaur leg fossil, scientists found a fish that breathed in asteroid impact debris as it rained down from the sky around 66 million years ago. Alongside these are a fossil turtle, remains of small mammals, the skin of a horned triceratops; the embryo of a flying pterosaur inside its egg. These fish fossils and sturgeons are the key to learning more about this day, as they have small particles of molten rock stuck in their gills, suggesting that the fish would have breathed in the particles as they entered the river. These motel rock particles have been linked chemically and by radiometric dating to the Mexican impact site.
Professor Phil Manning from Manchester explained to the BBC that “we were able to separate the chemistry and identify the composition of this material. All the evidence, all the chemical data, from this study strongly suggests that we are looking at a piece of the impactor ; from the asteroid that finished it to the dinosaurs.”
However, a 12 km wide giant Chicxulub asteroid is known to have hit Earth to cause the last mass extinction. And according to scientists, the impact site has been identified in the Gulf of Mexico. However, the main question is whether the dinosaur fossil found suggests that it died on the same day of the asteroid impact? According to the BBC report, “Tanis’ team believe this is very likely to be the case, given the member’s position in the excavation sediments.” But Professor Steve Busatte of the University of Edinburgh is still somewhat skeptical about the exact time. He suggests that it is possible that animals that died before the asteroid impact were “exhumed by the violence of the day”. But these fossils surely pave the way to understanding the asteroid strike that ended the age of the dinosaurs and heralded the rise of mammals like us.