Mass Extinction Event That Killed Dinosaurs Also Deadly To Antarctic Creatures

Posted: May 27 2016, 7:21am CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News

Mass Extinction Event that Killed Dinosaurs Also Deadly to Antarctic Creatures
Painted reconstruction of typical Cretaceous marine environment in Antarctica, including the paperclip-shaped ‘heteromorph’ ammonite Diplomoceras. Credit: James McKay (
  • The Cause of Extinction of the Dinosaurs was also Inimical to Antarctic Animals

The cause of extinction of the dinosaurs was also inimical to Antarctic animals or so it seems to be after evidence came out regarding this fact.

There was a tidal wave of extinction that occurred so many years ago in which the dinosaurs died out and the mammals survived. New research points out the fact that the animals of the Antarctic also died out during this environmental onslaught. The event took place towards the denouement of the Cretaceous Period. It managed to wipe the slate clean of 70% of the species on earth. This flies in the face of the previous hypothesis that life in the southern regions somehow survived the catastrophe.

Over a period of half a dozen years or so, researchers examined 6000 marine fossils. These dated back to more than 60 million years in the past. It happened to be the largest of collections of fossils from this era. The species included clams and snails. Also larger animals such as a meat-eating lizard were among the samples. A huge drop in the number of species occurred more than 60 million years ago in the Antarctic.

This cutdown occurred at the same time as the dinosaurs disappeared. It was almost like one day everything was going hunky dory and suddenly a major catastrophe took place and everything was wiped out within seconds. It was probably a massive asteroid that did the job of species decimation. The erstwhile opinion was that polar creatures were at such a great distance from this catastrophic event that they were not affected by it. Yet this happens to be a myth that has been debunked by now. Such is just not the case. Maybe polar life was not as hardy as it was supposed to have been.

It was thought that the idiosyncratic schedules of food supply and survival in conditions of dimness must have spared marine life in the Antarctic. Polar life however did die out. What is in fact not so clear is whether their cousins, the dinosaurs, died out suddenly or gradually. The fossil evidence shows the gradualist hypothesis is probably wrong. More research is underway regarding this mass extinction which took place more than 60 million years ago on our planet.

The research got published in the journal Nature Communications.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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