Dinosaur: NASA says lizards could have survived killer asteroid Latest News

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Dinosaur: NASA says lizards could have survived killer asteroid Latest News

The nine-mile wide asteroid that smacked into the Earth caused a radiation fireball which wiped out 75% of the Earth’s animal species – and everything within 600 miles.

But scientists believe if the asteroid, which lifted the Earth’s crust higher than the Himalayas, had struck anywhere else, the dinosaurs may well have survived.

The asteroid struck 66million years ago 24 miles off the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, causing a crater 111 miles wide and 20 miles deep.


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REVELATION: Dinosaurs could have survived had a killer asteroid hit elsewhere

A new report claims the extinction happened because the space rock slammed into an oily tinderbox, blasting enough soot into the atmosphere to cause extreme global cooling.

The impact chilled the planet by a global average of 14 to 18 degrees Fahrenheit, with a drop of 18 to 29 degrees over land.

Only 13% of Earth’s surface is made up of rocks that could have burned off that much soot, researchers argued in Scientific Reports.


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HUGE: The supersized creatures roamed the Earth 65 million years ago


“We have often remarked on how unlucky this massive impact was for the dinosaurs”


NASA

That means if the asteroid had landed almost anywhere else, the non-avian dinosaurs may not have died out after all.

Lead author Kunio Kaito said that the impact burned enough oil-rich sedimentary rocks to inject around 1.7 billion US tons of fine-particle black carbon into the atmosphere, or enough soot to fill a covered baseball stadium.

Though rain would have quickly washed most of the low-drifting soot from the sky, about 385 million tons would have remained circulating high in the atmosphere, blotting out life-giving sunlight.


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ASTEROID: Other species were able to survive the mass extinction event unlike dinosaurs

Kaiho made his estimations based on a reconstructed map of areas that could have been rich in hydrocarbon-bearing sedimentary rocks at the end of the Cretaceous.

“This is a fascinating paper that … argues that even given the large size of the impactor, the mass extinction itself was of low probability,” said Paul Chodas, manager of the Centre for Near Earth Object Stuies at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.


AsteroidGetty


LETHAL: A killer asteroid hit millions of years ago

“We have often remarked on how unlucky this massive impact was for the dinosaurs, and how lucky it was for us, as the top of the mammal family, but now we have a measure of just how unlucky the dinosaurs were and how lucky we were.”

The asteroid’s impact was so huge that the blast led to the extermination of three quarters of all life on Earth, including most of the dinosaurs.

But this chance event allowed smaller mammals – and ultimately humans – the chance to thrive.

Dinosaur: NASA says lizards could have survived killer asteroid Latest News

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Dinosaur: NASA says lizards could have survived killer asteroid Latest News

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