27. What really happened to the dinosaurs?
Known as the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction, or K-T event, the phenomenon that caused the dinosaurs to die out is something that puzzles us all, from kids at school to the world’s top palaeontologists.
What is known, is that it happened 65.5 million years ago. From the early days of modern science until the 1980s, scientists thought that it was down to some kind of slow burn climate change that halted their food supply, causing a gradual but epic die-off.
But in the 80s, whilst everyone else was concerned with huge shoulder pads and even bigger hair, a father and son team discovered what is now accepted as the true reason. They discovered a layer of iridium in the geological record, that is normally only found in space. This therefore means that a huge meteor impact probably wiped them out in one hit. The Chicxulub Crater at the Yucatán Peninsular in Mexico is the likely strike spot.
So, a single catastrophic event seems likely – a 6 mile in diameter rock, hurtling towards earth at 40,000 miles per hour sure would cause some damage including severe and instant global climate change.
But this is currently still a theory. As ever, we put our faith in the researchers to come up with conclusive evidence!