Dinosaurs were Dying Out Way Before a Meteor Hit Earth

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Age of Extinction

A study published in the journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, states that dinosaurs were on the verge of extinction long before a meteor hit earth and spelt their doom. This has been suggested by researchers from the University of Bristol and University of Reading.

The study reveals that dinosaurs were becoming extinct long before a catastrophic six-mile-wide asteroid hit the Gulf of Mexico 66 million years ago. Researchers arrived at this conclusion after analysing dinosaur lineages using fossil information and computing statistics. During the research it was found that while dinosaurs were flourishing in the late Triassic period around 220 million years ago, certain species were dying off faster than they could be replaced.

The decline in numbers over time was ubiquitous among all groups, yet the patterns among species were different, researchers said. “While the asteroid impact is still the prime candidate for the dinosaurs' final disappearance, it is clear that they were already past their prime in an evolutionary sense,” said lead researcher Manabu Sakamoto, from the University of Reading.

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