Navigation Links
Scientists conclude asteroid ended the age of dinosaurs
Date:5/25/2010

University of Alaska Fairbanks scientist Michael Whalen is part of a team of distinguished scientists who recently compiled a wide swath of evidence striking a definitive blow in the ongoing battle over what killed the dinosaurs.

In a review published in the March 5 issue of the journal Science, the research group reaffirmed the recently challenged theory that an asteroid ended the age of the dinosaurs.

Scientists first proposed the asteroid impact theory of dinosaur mass extinction 30 years ago. The discovery of a massive crater at Chicxulub [CHICK-shuh-loob], in Mexico's Yucatn Peninsula in 1991, strengthened that hypothesis. The Chicxulub crater is more than 120 miles wideabout the distance from Fairbanks to the Arctic Circleand scientists believe it was created when an asteroid more than six miles wide crashed into Earth 65 million years ago. The cataclysmic impacta million times more powerful than the largest nuclear bomb ever testedtriggered massive earthquakes, atmospheric discharge and oceanic upheaval. The ensuing mass extinction ended both the reign of the dinosaurs and the Cretaceous period, which gave way to the Paleogene period. This theory, having steadily accumulated evidence, was thought to be a near-consensus view.

Recently, however, in a series of articles, researchers posed an alternate hypothesis for the mass extinction. Some scientists claim that long-term volcanic activity at the Deccan Traps, in what is now India, caused acid rain and global cooling, gradually making life untenable for the dinosaurs and other large animals. They also suggest that the Chicxulub impact occurred some 300,000 years before the mass extinctions.

The alternate hypothesis spurred Whalen and other Chicxulub impact proponents to respond. The current Science article dispels the Deccan Traps hypothesis, arguing that the geological record favors the Chicxulub impact event theory.

"It's as tight a case for a synchronous chain of events as we can find in the fossil record," Whalen said.

Whalen is an associate professor at the UAF geology and geophysics department and the Geophysical Institute. He first began studying the Chicxulub site in 2002. His expertise is in carbonate rock, or limestonea handy specialty, as limestone forms the layers above the Cretaceous-Paleogene geological boundary in the Chicxulub crater. He studied a 2001 core from the crater and compared it to seismic data gathered in 2006. His analysis offered insight on the geography of the area prior to impact, how it changed during the impact and the eventual infill of the crater by limestones deposited after the impact event.


'/>"/>

Contact: Brian Keenan
brian.keenan@gi.alaska.edu
907-474-5229
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. UK scientists working to help cut ID theft
2. Scientists show that mitochondrial DNA variants are linked to risk factors for type 2 diabetes
3. Comet probes reveal evidence of origin of life, scientists claim
4. Scientists link fragile X tremor/ataxia syndrome to binding protein in RNA
5. Male elephants get photo IDs from scientists
6. Scientists retrace evolution with first atomic structure of an ancient protein
7. Muscle mass: Scientists identify novel mode of transcriptional regulation during myogenesis
8. Carnegie Mellon scientists develop nanogels that enable controlled delivery of carbohydrate drugs
9. Clemson scientists shed light on molecules in living cells
10. Scientists tackle mystery mountain illness
11. T. rex quicker than Becks, say scientists
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/24/2017)... The Controller General of Immigration from Maldives Mr. Mohamed Anwar ... prestigious international IAIR Award for the most innovative high security ePassport and ... ... Maldives Immigration Controller General, Mr. Mohamed ... the right) have received the IAIR award for the "Most innovative high ...
(Date:3/22/2017)...   Neurotechnology , a provider of high-precision ... the release of the SentiVeillance 6.0 ... recognition using up to 10 surveillance, security and ... new version uses deep neural-network-based facial detection and ... a Graphing Processing Unit (GPU) for enhanced speed. ...
(Date:3/20/2017)... PMD Healthcare announces the release of its ... System (WMS), a remote, real-time lung health monitoring and ... is a Medical Device, Digital Health, and Chronic Care ... innovative solutions that empower people to improve their healthcare ... developed the first ever personal spirometer, Spiro PD, which ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/20/2017)... ... ... Biologist Dawn Maslar MS has found a biomarker that she claims verifies ... The Neuroscience of Meeting, Dating, Losing Your Mind, and Finding True Love, Maslar found ... step, in my estimation, was to scientifically track the evidence of commitment in men,” ...
(Date:6/20/2017)... ... June 20, 2017 , ... GigaGen Inc ., a ... repertoires, announces launch of its new Surge(TM) Discovery service at the ... GigaGen, will present on Surge at the conference. , Surge is the new, ...
(Date:6/16/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Cognition Corporation , a software company ... of its “From the Helm” Webinar Series. , The next two free ... design control exercises. Led by David Cronin, Cognition’s CEO, the half-hour public webinars ...
(Date:6/15/2017)... ... June 15, 2017 , ... The ... an artist’s journey through creative experimentation and interdisciplinary collaboration. Feature Creep, a solo ... 22nd. An opening reception will be held at EKG, located at 3600 Market ...
Breaking Biology Technology: