Scientists Re-Evaluating What Killed The Dinosaurs After Studying Crater
NORTH DAKOTA - Dinosaurs; These terrible lizards have continued to tantalize people from ages 1-100 since the first fossil was found in 1677. Since then what we know about dinosaurs has changed immensely; from “dragons” to the behemoth, thundering lizards we know today. More than 1,800 different types of dinosaurs had existed in the past.
There is still much that we do not know about dinosaurs, as Smithsonian Magazine has said, there are also a lot of dinosaurs that have not yet been found. Even with a little over 200 years of research, paleontologists have identified a mere couple hundred species.
Even though this may seem like a lot, a recent report in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences alluded to a number of a bit more than 1,800 different types of dinosaurs that had existed in the past.
The research on these different kinds of dinosaurs is confined to their fossilized relics left after they died off. This makes the research a bit insufficient in certain areas.
A fossil is by definition, a remnant or trace of an organism of a past geologic age, such as a skeleton or leaf imprint, embedded and preserved in the earth's crust.
As such, a fossil can only be created in just the right conditions, with the animal dying at a location that can protect its corpse inside of the solid rock before decay can set in.
A great many dinosaurs existed in other types of territories; but some lived in or near wet locales such as lagoons, rivers, and lakes which were good sources where alluvium (loose clay) and sediment are uncovered.
Questions remain as to what triggered the extermination of the dinosaurs. Several hypotheses have been talked about ranging from plagues and disease, or sicknesses, to a doomsday asteroid.
Some have hypothesized that a new species shook up the food chain, or that their extinction was caused by a change in the climate.
During the Jurassic period, scientists have theorized that massive outbursts took place that saw temperatures climb and ocean levels rise, as well as humidity levels decrease.
Several researchers have said that they believe this combination may have spelled disaster for the dinosaurs while yet others maintain they believe that dinosaurs flourished during this time.
The director of the Palm Beach Museum of National History, Dr. Robert DePalma located some hard-to-find fossils near Bowman, North Dakota.
The location of these fossils which he named “Tanis” had its first dig in 2021, Dr. DePalma and his associates excavated the region recognized as the Hell Creek Formation.
He found the remains of a freshwater paddlefish as well as a tooth from a Mosasaur. The massive reptile was found in oceans during the Early Cretaceous period.
His team realized that this beast could not have lived in North Dakota's freshwater in the course of the time preceding recorded history. Dr. DePalma made note of additional discrepancies in the dig location.
The fossil specimens appeared inconsistent – some bones were stuck in upright poses – natural glass, which is also called tektites, and are the effect of a meteor's collision. The fossils were found spread around within the dirt.
The scientists were left dumbfounded. Were all of these elements supportive of the thesis that an asteroid brought about the destruction of the dinosaurs? Of course the theory that an asteroid caused this mass extinction event is nothing new.
A number of researchers are quick to talk about the KT substratum (which is used in within the scientific community to refer to the Cretaceous and Tertiary period) which scientists theorize is a 66 million-year-old region of the earth's crust prevalent in many areas of the globe.
The region is marked by a colossal iridium content which is indicative of an asteroid impact. The Chicxulub is a 112-mile-wide crater and is positioned in the Yucatan Peninsula bears the very same mineral.
Iridium found in the location where the asteroid impacted is on par with the iridium levels found in the KT substratum. Skeptics of this theory, however, note the absence of fossils in the KT substratum as an indication that this argument is inaccurate.
Additional fossils were found 10 feet beneath the level. This would indicate that the animal corpses there are more aged than the asteroid itself proposing that different kinds of occurrences such as extensive volcanic activity or alterations of climate; killed the dinosaurs prior to the asteroid hit.
Dr. DePalma maintains that the fossils located in Tanis which is positioned on the KT level as clustered there following the asteroid impact.
Dr. DePalma suggested that contact with the asteroid triggered massive tidal waves that permitted the tooth from the Mosasaur to transit from freshwater to that area in particular, including the freshwater sturgeon.
Science magazine theorized that freshwater sturgeon could have suffocated on a portion of glass from the asteroid impact.
Dr. Philip Manning, a paleontologist at the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom claimed, "That's the first-ever evidence of the interaction between life on the last day of the Cretaceous and the impact event.”
A few researchers disagreed with this suggestion. MSN cited Dr. Thomas Tobin, a geologist at the University of Alabama said, "I hope this is all legit — I'm just not 100% convinced yet,".
Several researchers have found fault with Dr. DePalma's conclusions. The area does not definitively confirm the asteroid collision killed the dinosaurs, but it could be an element in a sequence of ecological occurrences that spelled their doom.
Science magazine indicated that Dr. DePalma was inaccurate in 2015 when he found a bone he thought was from a new kind of dinosaur. He surmised it went to a genus Dakotaraptor when some scientists placed it as related to a prehistoric turtle.
Dr. DePalma later changed his supposition, but some say it was a black mark against his status.
The New Yorker claimed that Dr. DePalma suggested some disconcerting paleontology exercises, such as not informing anyone about his findings for long periods of time, and restricting other researchers' availability to the dig area.
A few, however, have supported Dr. DePalma's views. One such person is Dr. Mark Richards, a geophysicist at the University of California, Berkeley, and Dr. DePalma's co-author.
"That some competitors have cast Robert in a negative light is unfortunate and unfair,” Science quoted Richards as saying.
Much of the negativity transpired because Dr. DePalma initially contributed his account to a mass-media outlet, The New Yorker, rather than a scholarly one, as reported by Bored Therapy.
He afterward penned an article for the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Dr. DePalma found a leg from a Thescelosaurus located at Tanis, in 2021, according to The Washington Post. The scientist regarded this data as something that would bolster his thesis that an asteroid wiped out the dinosaurs, as well as 75% of all plant and animal life.
Among the important finds at Tanis, there was a fossilized pterosaur egg and fossilized fish along with ejecta (glass spheres).
Dr. DePalma implied that the aforementioned animals died when the asteroid hit considering that the ejecta's substance points to a significant detonation – the equivalent of an explosion of 10 billion bombs.
Dr, DePalma told the Washington Post, "I've been asked, 'Why should we care about this? Dinosaurs have been dead for so long".
"It's not just for paleo nerds. This directly applies to today. We're seeing mass die-offs of animals and biomes that are being put through very stressful situations worldwide. By looking through this window into the past, we can apply these lessons to today," MSN cited the Dr. as saying.
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