New theory tries to answer the reason for dinosaur extinctions
A new study published in the Science Magazine online has revealed that a giant volcanic eruption in India may have led to the end of the dinosaurs. The research team has suggested that it wasn't just an asteroid alone that led to widespread extinction of dinosaurs and other species on the planet. There was also a massive volcanic eruption along with this asteroid that could have caused the mass extinction.
In this study, the researchers largely focused on an area in India called the Deccan Traps. The Deccan Traps is a large area of mountain-sized basalt lava deposits. It is a geological formation that covers 200,000 square miles around Mumbai. Scientists believe that these were created by one of the largest volcanic eruptions that the planet has ever witnessed.
They gathered crystal samples from the site and found that it contained trace amounts of uranium that have since decayed into lead. As it is well-known how long uranium takes to decay, scientists were able to pinpoint when the volcano began its devastating eruption
250,000 years much before the extinction event. This eruption ended around 500,000 years after which is an interesting twist in this whole research.
Blair Schoene, a professor of geosciences at Princeton, the lead author of this study stated that the results so generated indicate that both the catastrophic impact and the more gradual, but extraordinary, volcanic eruption could have been factors that contributed towards the end i.e. the Cretaceous mass extinction.
The new evidences so generated have Blair Schoene favoring both catastrophes as the cause for the mass extinction. Scientists are not able to determine exactly when the eruptions took place. Conversely, researchers did know that the Chicxulub space rock crashed into eastern Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula around the same time that many dinosaur species went extinct.
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