How Did Dinosaurs Extinct? How Big Was the Meteor That Killed Them?
A “space hypothesis” explaining the extinction of dinosaurs by the traces that are currently visible on the coast of the Yucatan, and throughout the planet, if we take into account specific impurities in the sediments. The fact that at the boundary of the Mesozoic Era and Paleozoic Era, the Earth’s biosphere was shaken by a major disaster associated with the asteroid’s fall is indisputable. It is also indisputable that the dinosaurs at the boundary of the Mesozoic Era and Paleozoic Era are extinct. The conclusion that there is a connection between these two events.
As the data accumulate, more questions and claims arise to the “space hypothesis”. For example, how big was the meteor that killed the dinosaurs?
However, the first problem is related to the scale of the disaster. The asteroid that knocked out the Chicxulub crater is small enough to trigger a mass extinction. In any case, other impact events of similar power had no similar consequences. So, it’s hard to say that the meteor killed dinosaurs. However, there are many counterarguments to this argument. For example, the Chicxulub impactor may have been just a fragment of a much larger body, presumably responsible for the formation of a cyclopean crater at the bottom of the Arabian Sea.
The second claim relates to time limits. Half a century ago, the coincidence of extinction and crater formation dates seemed ideal. But now the dating techniques have improved and the picture looks more like this. It is possible that some dinosaur species still existed by the time of impact. The extinction began 68-70 million years ago, 66 million years ago, apparently, has already ended, the age of the crater is only 65 million years… But, in any case, the extinction no longer looks instantaneous.
Finally, the third problem is more serious, and there are not only classical but all “catastrophic” explanations of dinosaurs extinction. It is impossible to imagine a global cataclysm, which would hit only four groups of vertebrates without affecting all the others. The extinction, which has cut off several evolutionary branches, would certainly affect the others. But at the turn of the Mesozoic Era and Paleozoic Era, only Lizard dinosaurs, Ornithischia dinosaurs, pterosaurs, plesiosaurs are extinct. Turtles, flakes, and crocodiles survived. This is only among reptiles. There are no losses in the ranks of mammals and birds. In the paleontological chronicles of the surviving units and classes, there is no evidence of a decline in species diversity in the period 65-68 million years ago.
The most obvious explanation for the extinction of only strictly defined species is their defeat in the competition for resources. But this does not seem to apply to dinosaurs at first sight. At the end of the Mesozoic Era, they prevailed on the planet quite deservedly, as the most progressive life form. Mammals were not ready to challenge them at that moment, and even the ecological niches liberated after the dinosaur’s departure could not be occupied immediately. For ten million years at the beginning of the Paleozoic Era, the work of large herbivores and predators was done by surviving reptiles and birds. Dinosaurs were not yet warm-blooded creatures in the modern sense. But the same applied to the ancient mammals, which maintain a relatively constant temperature of about 25 degrees. But only if the ambient temperature fluctuates within 10 degrees from this mark. Gradually, the cooling of the climate, which began in the middle of the Mesozoic Era and still continues to harm everyone equally.
Judging by these facts, the question “how big was the meteor that killed the dinosaurs” remains unanswered. The extinction of the dinosaurs was affected by the coincidence of many factors and this did not happen instantly. But the dinosaur meteor had a huge impact on their elimination.