Dinosaurs could have been around still, new research claims
The reason for the demise of dinosaurs has been a hot topic for debate for years for researchers and scientists all around the world. Volcanic eruptions, long-running decline of the species and many other reasons were said to be the reason. However, a new report claims that if there hadn’t been an impact by the ill-timed asteroid or comet, dinosaurs would have likely been still around.
Yes! Dinosaurs were just unlucky as the extinction was not caused by a perfect storm of “colossal bad luck” as if the asteroid strike had come in earlier or later in the history, the prehistoric creatures might have survived. But the 6.2 mile wide asteroid hit back 66 million years ago in the region of what is now Mexico, creatures were left vulnerable due to the environmental upheaval experienced such as massive volcanic eruptions, wildfires, earthquakes, raging sea level changes, tsunami, major shifts in worldwide temperatures and environmental changes.
An international team of palaeontologists from the University of Edinburgh have published a new study that reveals that the dinosaurs have been the victims of “colossal bad luck” more than anything else.
Palaeontologist Steve Brusatte of the University of Edinburgh said “Not only did a giant asteroid strike, but it happened at the worst possible time, when their ecosystems were vulnerable. Our new findings help clarify one of the enduring mysteries of science.”
Brusatte said “I think there is a perception that the asteroid hit an idyllic lost world of dinosaurs, but it hit a world that was in flux. It made their food webs more vulnerable to collapse, so it made dinosaurs more susceptible when the asteroid hit. So maybe if the asteroid hit a few million years earlier it wouldn’t have been so devastating.”
“When you mess with diversity,” he added, “you can be even more susceptible to a knockout blow.”
Researchers said that if the meteor hit had happened a few million years earlier or later when the dinosaurs recovered some diversity, the extinction of the prehistoric creatures might have been prevented. The impact has slowly weekend the entire dinosaur kingdom and has wiped out one species after another slowly. The only dinosaur specie that had survived the impact was the ones who could fly, which are believed to have evolved into birds of today.
Brusatte continued that “The extinction was abrupt, happening within a few tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of years, or even quicker. Dinosaurs weren’t wasting away for tens of millions of years.”
Dr Richard Butler from the University of Birmingham noted that there is nothing to suggest if the prehistoric creatures were doomed to extinction just when the asteroid hit, adding that “Without that asteroid, the dinosaurs would probably still be here, and we very probably would not.”