The dinosaur dynasty prevailed for millions of years, yet went extinct with the impact of an asteroid into the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, now referred to as the Chicxulub crater, about 66 million years ago. A new study indicates that had the asteroid struck elsewhere, probably some of these huge creatures and giant flying reptiles might have survived to this day.
New research published in the journal Scientific Reports indicates that the asteroid landed in just the precise spot. Kunio Kaiho, lead author of the study and a paleontologist from Tohoku University in Japan, thinks that dinosaurs could still be alive today if the asteroid had landed elsewhere, as noted by Phys.Org.
Kaiho and co-author Naga Oshima, a senior researcher at the Meteorological Research Institute in Japan, also contemplated that if the 7.5-mile-wide asteroid had landed anywhere else, it would not have been that destructive. It has been theorized that the impact of the asteroid had wiped out the dinosaurs and some of the iconic beasts as well as three-quarters of all living things on planet Earth.
Meanwhile, in the new research, the team built a model that simulated the asteroid impacts that discharged substantial amounts of trapped soot from the rock. The researchers said that the asteroid crashed into an oily tinderbox that blasted substantial residue or soot into the atmosphere, causing intense global cooling. This froze the planet Earth by a global average of 14 to 18 degrees Fahrenheit, with a drop of 18 to 29 degrees over land.
The team also discovered in the simulation that the location where the asteroid landed was dense in hydrocarbons. About 87 percent of the Earth was less dense. These include China, the Amazon, India, and Africa, among others, according to The New York Times.
If the asteroid had landed in a less dense area, there would be less soot and this means the planet would not have cooled as much. In this case, if the planet’s temperature had not dropped down so much, the dinosaurs might not have gone extinct. This means, too, that humans might never have had a chance to grow if they survived.
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