Q:

When did dinosaurs become extinct?

A:

Quick Answer

Dinosaurs became extinct about 65 million years ago. This extinction event occurred between the Cretaceous and Tertiary periods and wiped out about 50 percent of all other organisms then living on the planet.

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When did dinosaurs become extinct?
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Full Answer

Because the dinosaurs died out in a relatively short period of time, scientists surmise that some sort of global disaster had caused this massive extinction event. Some extinction theories include an increase in volcanism, a change in the climate, the movement of continents and the consumption of dinosaur eggs by evolving mammalian species.

In the 1980s, Luis Alvarez proposed one of the most probable theories for the extinction. He believed that an extraterrestrial object such as an asteroid or meteorite crashed on Earth, throwing up debris into the atmosphere. This debris effectively blocked out much of the sun's light, causing plants to die worldwide, which led to the extinction of many species unable to cope with this climate change.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How did the pterodactyl become extinct?

    A:

    Scientists do not know exactly why the pterodactyls died out approximately 65 million years ago. Some scientists believe that they died as a result of a meteor impact, while others believe climate change was to blame. Some scientists believe that volcanic gases were the leading cause, according to ABC Science.

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  • Q:

    Why did the dinosaurs become extinct?

    A:

    There is not sufficient proof as to why dinosaurs went extinct, but experts believe it is related to geological events, diseases, climate change and lack of plant life for sustenance. The last known dinosaurs, according to their fossils, existed about 65 million years ago.

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  • Q:

    Is it possible to clone dinosaurs?

    A:

    It is very unlikely that a dinosaur can be cloned. The essential element, a complete dinosaur genome, is extremely unlikely to exist after 65 million years. Genetic material is made out of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), and it breaks down over time.

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  • Q:

    Were there any dinosaurs that swam?

    A:

    True dinosaurs were not swimmers. There were a number of very large aquatic reptiles that lived during the age of the dinosaur, but they were not technically dinosaurs. These creatures belonged to one of several other groups, such as ichthyosaurs, plesiosaurs and mosasaurs, which were types of marine reptiles.

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