New Evidence in Dinosaurs' Extinction
Most have come to believe the dinosaurs were killed off when an asteroid struck the Earth, but some scientists remain sceptical. Will new evidence in the fossil record convince them?
What's the Latest Development?
In Montana, a team of scientists led by Yale palaeontologist Tyler Lyson have found a new dinosaur bone closer to the Earth's surface than ever before. They say the find supports the hypothesis that an asteroid collision is responsible for the dinosaurs' sudden disappearance about 65 million years ago. Scientists are relatively confident an asteroid did collide with Earth some 65 million years ago because large deposits of iridium have been found in the fossil record. Iridium is an element common in asteroids but rare in the Earth's crust. What is less sure is that the asteroid killed the dinosaurs.
What's the Big Idea?
Why are some scientists hesitant to blame an asteroid for the dinosaurs' disappearance? Because of a gap in the fossil record. Had an asteroid clearly ended the dinosaurs' reign, their bones should be found just below the iridium deposits, they say. Instead, the first evidence to support the asteroid theory was found three meters below the iridium, equal to approximately 100,000 years. Scientists who emphasize this gap suggest dinosaurs began dying off gradually before the asteroid hit. Before Lyson's recent find, the fossil gap had been narrowed to 60 centimetres in 1991 when a large dig in Montana and North Dakota unearthed dinosaur fossils.
Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.
No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.
A completely unexpected discovery beneath the ice.
- Scientists find remains of a tardigrade and crustaceans in a deep, frozen Antarctic lake.
- The creatures' origin is unknown, and further study is ongoing.
- Biology speaks up about Antarctica's history.
Eight-dimensional octonions may hold the clues to solve fundamental mysteries.
- Physicists discover complex numbers called octonions that work in 8 dimensions.
- The numbers have been found linked to fundamental forces of reality.
- Understanding octonions can lead to a new model of physics.
It's one factor that can help explain the religiosity gap.
- Sociologists have long observed a gap between the religiosity of men and women.
- A recent study used data from several national surveys to compare religiosity, risk-taking preferences and demographic information among more than 20,000 American adolescents.
- The results suggest that risk-taking preferences might partly explain the gender differences in religiosity.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.