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Stunning discovery of fossils captures the moment when dinosaurs are killed



In a stunning discovery, paleontologists have discovered fossils that testify to the incredible devastation in the hours and days after the Earth was struck by the striker who created the crater from Chixoulub on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. 66 million years ago that ended the dinosaurs

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Source: NASA

A team of paleontologists from the University of Kansas (KU) discovered fossils in the North Dakota, which provide a snapshot of moments immediately after the most cataclysmic event that Earth's life has ever suffered; the impact event that produced the Chicxulub crater about 66 million years ago, suspected of bringing the dinosaurs to a sudden, violent ending.

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9659007] In a site known as Tanis, in Creating Hell Creek in North Dakota, the QC team uncovered the fossils of animals and fish caught strangely and inattentive by the impact event, then they were immediately and "exquisitely" preserved in the deposition of sediments left by the subsequent world floods that began minutes after the blow

"Sedimentation happened so quickly that everything was preserved in three dimensions – they were not crushed," says David Burnham, preparatory and paleontology of vertebrates Institute of Biodiversity of KU. "It looks like an avalanche that collapses almost like liquid, then as concrete. They were killed quite suddenly because of the violence of this water. We have a fish that struck a tree and it was broken in half. "

The Chicxulub hit, the Chicxulub crater and the Alvarez hypothesis

As their fossils were first discovered in the 19th century, dinosaurs were the subject of endless charm by scientists and the general public. Imagination moves on the scale of these megafauna, the variety, and especially their sudden and complete disappearance from the fossil data at the end of the chalk, about 66 million years ago . The disappearance of animals such as Tyranosaurus rex remains one of the greatest mysteries of science, whereas in 1980 Nobel laureate Louis Alvarez, his son Walter Alvarez, a geologist at the University of California at Berkeley and chemists Frank Asaro and Helen Von Michel announced [PDF] for the discovery of a concentrated iridium layer in the geological record just at the boundary between the Cretaceous period and the Paleogene period, often referred to as the CT limit.

Almost 100 times The concentration we would expect to find on Earth – Iridium is a very rare element of the Earth – and is located in places all over the world, the open team of iridescent Alveres can be explained by one thing. A massive whip, or an asteroid or a comet, struck the Earth 19 million years ago and full of enough Iridium to spread it in a thick layer all over the world.

"We understand that bad things happened … but no one found such evidence to smoke." – David Burnham, W. Kansas

Such an assassin would have been somewhere from 6.5 to 50.25 miles in diameter according to a recent study and something that would cause such widespread devastation that entire species of animals, including dinosaurs, would be evicted almost all night. It is believed that the striker Chicxulub released 100 million megaton energy or slightly more than 7 billion bombs from Hiroshima . The only thing missing in the Alvarez hypothesis, as it was called, was the crater of the stroke, and therefore remains controversial; even after the discovery of Kratter Chixulub from the Yucatan Peninsula in 1994.

Now, with these new findings from the QC team, which provide the closest possible photographic evidence, as we will find in the geological record, we can now see Alvarez [19659015] "We understood that bad things happened right after the blow, but no one found such evidence of smoking," says Burnham. – The people said, "We get this blast killing the dinosaurs, but why do not we have dead bodies everywhere?" Well, now we have bodies. They are not dinosaurs, but I think they will eventually be found. "

According to the KU team, the fossils on the site of Tanis were affected by the" fast-paced high energy deposit of shore waves ", coinciding with the boundary of the KT

" Tangled table of freshwater fish, terrestrial vertebrates, trees, branches , logs, marine ammonites and other marine creatures have been wrapped in this layer of the internal wave, "said Rob Depalma, PhD student in geology working at the Institute of Biodiversity at the University of California and the Natural History Museum and lead author of the forthcoming report.

Impact Ejecta and Ancient Seaway

In minutes after the blow, the earth's crust was forcibly lifted by the impact as a lake after a rock was thrown into it. Just as the displaced water would burst and get out of the surface of the stone, the crust of the earth and the top mantle after the hit of Chicxulub.

This material, known as impact discharges, is one of the most important markers of an impact event in the geological record since the discharge is often characterized by high pressure and impact metamorphisms that can not be produced by other natural processes on Earth.

In addition to being thrown out, the shocks that would burst from the impact would be around the globe, generating strong tsunamis in waterways, half a world away. The place of Tanis and the deposition of sediment at the boundary of the LC are the result of one of these tsunamis.

"The tsunami would have taken at least 17 or more hours to reach the site of [Chicxulub crater] but the seismic waves and subsequent excitement would have reached tens of minutes," said Depalma. The seismic waves that lie next to the carved bed of an ancient sea road would generate a tsunami to this waterway and to the site of Tanis before the fallout had fallen from the sky over North America.

Fish species

"The fish were buried quickly, but not so fast that they did not have time to breathe, but not so fast that they did not have time to breathe. the discharge that ran down to the river, "said Burnham. "These fish were not bottom feeders, they were breathing as they swam in the water column. We find small pieces of gill discharge of these fish, the bones of the gills. We do not know if some have been killed by the breath of this ejection. "

DePalma believes that this site, with hundreds of preserved specimens of a wide variety of species, some of which are new to science, fills a great gap in the record of Chicxulub's strike and its consequences

" It's hard to Do not be stifled and excited about this topic, "he said. "We are looking at the records for a moment from one of the most remarkable events in Earth's history. No other site has such a record. And this particular event is directly connected with all of us – with every mammal on Earth. Because this is where we have inherited the planet. Nothing was the same after this blow. It has become a planet of mammals, not a planet of dinosaurs.

"As human beings, we come from the genealogy that literally survived in the ashes of the ever-glorious kingdom of the dinosaurs on the planet that has ever been able to learn from such an event for the benefit of us and any other organism in our world. "


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