Case Study Dinosaurs

Good Essays
Meghan Lewis
Dinosaur Case Study
September 25, 2017
Introduction
Imagine if after 6 million years of existing on earth, the entire human race died out by the year 3320. Within a mere 1000 years’ all of humanity would be wiped from existence. This was the case with the dinosaurs and many other species living in the Mesozoic-Cenozoic period. 65 million years ago a meteorite roughly 10 km across hit the earth’s surface, and the impact would be a catalyst to the extinction of 75% of the species living on earth at the time, including the dinosaurs. The impact of the meteorite would have instantly killed any organisms within proximity. But a majority of destruction happened after the impact. The impact blew enough dust, and debris into the atmosphere
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A massive amount of research has been done and no definite answer has been found, and may never be found, due to the controversial nature of the case. The nature of science is that of uncertainty. When dealing with evidence from millions of years ago there is a great deal of uncertainty in the accuracy and legitimacy of the evidence. For example, the accuracy of fossil records is not exact. Even with modern technology fossil dating cannot be pinpointed to an exact time, but more of a range like 100 years to 100,000 years. So the accuracy of the dating of fossils is uncertain, creating controversy in all theories. It’s also a known fact that only North America keeps a well-dated series of rock and fossil records. This provides significant bias due to the inability to compare with other countries and locations. Our information is coming from our records which only holds the discoveries found by America. This means many other countries findings that could be added and applied to our own are …show more content…
The most widely known ones are volcanism and the Alvarez meteorite. In the case of volcanism, scientists believe that the extinction of dinosaurs was more gradual. They proposed that over time volcanic activity began affecting the climate with the main offender being the Deccan Traps. Researchers believe that when the Deccan traps erupted, toxic levels of sulfur and Carbon Dioxide were released into the atmosphere disrupting system. They believe this disturbance caused global warming, acid rain, and ocean acidification as a result. They believe that the toxins released into the atmosphere and the abrupt change in climate were what eventually killed off the dinosaurs. This theory is supported multiple ways. First with fossil evidence from Texas and Mexico that most of the species that went extinct went extinct during the final wave of Deccan traps volcanic activity, before the asteroid impact. Further evidence was Deccan volcanic rock has been found near the KT boundary, the chemical breakdown shows they were found in the Earth's mantle, an area rich in iridium. This richness would explain the iridium spike found in the KT boundary. But another more widely believed theory that’s supported by iridium is the Alvarez Hypothesis. This hypothesis states that a large meteorite struck the earth and launched dust and debris into the atmosphere blocking the sun. This led to rapid climate

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