Dinosaur Extinction Theories

dinosaur extinction featured imageThere are many dinosaur extinction theories, ranging from the plausible to imaginative tales on why the prehistoric animals may have died out. As time as progressed and paleontologists have worked closely withgeologists, two predominate dinosaur extinction theories have come to the forefront. The first of the two primary dinosaur extinction theories involves the explosion of a massive super volcano, which would have blocked the light of the sun and plummeted the earth into a temporary ice age. As the vast majority of dinosaurs are reptilian in nature, this resulted in a massive die off, leading to extinction.

There is one primary factor supporting both dinosaur extinction theories, but is particularly relevant to the super volcano theory. In the sedimentary layers where the vast majority of dinosaur bones and fossils are excavated, there is a layer of iridium. This mineral only occurs from meteorite or volcanic activity. As a massive super volcanic eruption could account for the spike in iridium, this theory has gained a following as well as support for its plausibility.

The second of the dinosaur extinction theories is also based off of the presence of iridium in the sedimentary layers. However, instead of the source being from a super volcano, it is believed to be from a massive meteorite striking the face of the earth. It is believed that a 10 kilometer in diameter meteorite struck the earth where the Yukatan peninsula is today. Under magnetic charting and sonic charts, there is evidence of a massive crater that supports this theory. The images show that a meteorite of this area could have struck the Yukatan peninsula, triggering volcanic activity and launching a billowing cloud of super heated gases and wind that would have killed over 25% of all of the planet’s vegetation. Such as massive die off of vegetation, coupled many dinosaur casualties, would have led to a rise of carnivorous dinosaurs. As the herbivores died out, the carnivores would have lacked food, resulting in a mass die off of large species of dinosaurs.

As the explosion would have unbalanced the delicate chemistry of the oceans, marine species would have died from water temperature changes and starvation. Only avian species would have been able to forage for food beyond the blast zones.

As the meteorite explosions would have triggered volcanic activity, these are often the kind of dinosaur extinction theories that have the most widespread following and is believed to be the most plausible.