(ORDO NEWS) — One of the worst disasters in the world occurred about 66.5 million years ago, when a huge asteroid hit the Earth. As a result of this event, 15 trillion tons of ash and soot were thrown into the air, earthquakes, tsunamis and other destructive phenomena occurred.
Every year, researchers learn more and more details about the day that provoked the extinction of most dinosaurs and other representatives of the animal and even plant world.
For example, we recently talked about the results of a study that proved that the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs fell to Earth in the spring, when all living organisms were preparing for another warm season.
A fresh portion of information about the ancient disaster was not long in coming – scientists studied one of the areas in North Dakota and found out how much damage the animals received from it.
What was the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs?
Scientists have long known that an asteroid that fell millions of years ago had a diameter of about 12 kilometers. After the fall of a space object, a huge 180-kilometer crater remained on our planet, which was given the name Chicxulub.
According to scientists, the asteroid fell into the sea, near the Yucatan Peninsula. Today, at a distance of three thousand kilometers from this place, scientists are actively excavating and carefully studying the fossilized remains of creatures that lived millions of years ago.
It was on the basis of the finds from this place that scientists found out that the destructive asteroid fell in the spring.
Asteroid impact site and excavation site location (Tanis)
Studying the consequences of an asteroid impact
According to excavation leader Robert DePalma, the site has a huge amount of detail that helps recreate the sequence of events that took place after the asteroid hit.
He compared their work to watching a documentary, so clearly their findings demonstrate the events that took place millions of years ago.
We look at rock sections, see fossils and seem to be transported to that fateful day,” the researcher explained.
The layers of the earth can tell a lot of interesting things about different time periods
Usually paleontologists find bones of dinosaurs and other animals at a fairly large distance from each other. But the fossil remains near the epicenter of the explosion caused by the fall of the asteroid are in a chaotic position.
Most likely, as a result of the release of energy, the bodies of many living creatures were torn apart, and then mixed with water flows – the rivers overflowed their banks due to a strong earthquake.
Most likely, all living creatures in Tanis died under a huge wave
Victims of the asteroid Chicxulub
Among all the victims of a terrible event, scientists were most interested in fish that lived millions of years ago in the waters of present-day North Dakota. Small round particles were found in their gills, which, upon closer examination, turned out to be spherules.
So in the scientific community they call glass beads resulting from the melting of earth rocks. It is believed that they were formed at the site of the Chickshulub crater, flew thousands of kilometers and only then fell into the water. When they fell, they obviously seriously injured the fish – otherwise how could they be in their gills?
Replica of a pterosaur skeleton
Scientists have no doubts that spherical objects were formed as a result of the fall of an asteroid. Professor Phil Manning (Phil Manning) shared that after the discovery, they studied their composition using the Diamond X-ray synchrotron, which is at the disposal of one of the laboratories in London. The spherules contain both particles of wood resin and materials of extraterrestrial origin.
A pterosaur embryo inside an egg found at an excavation site
In addition to the remains of fish, scientists have found the remains of other animals in North Dakota. For example, they found an ancient tortoise that died after being hit by a tree fragment. They also happened to discover a pterosaur egg with an embryo remaining inside.
Another interesting find is the skin tucked from a Triceratops (but it is not entirely clear how it has been preserved so soft to this day).
But most of all, researchers were surprised by the severed leg of the Thescelosaurus – this type of dinosaur, unlike the others, did not have feathers on its body, but was covered with developed scales.
It is worth noting that the limb of the predator was torn off instantly, there were no traces of diseases and teeth of other animals on it.
It goes without saying that creatures that were in the waters near the Yucatan Island received the greatest damage from the fall of the meteorite.
However, as you can understand, nothing was left of them – they died in an instant. The state of the remains, which were found three thousand kilometers from the asteroid impact site, clearly shows how strong the destruction was.
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