Q:

How did dinosaurs die?

A:

Quick Answer

There are multiple theories as to why dinosaurs died out, such as asteroid impact, volcanic activity, and climate change. There are many theories because none has been proven to be 100 percent certain as the reason for the dinosaurs’ demise.

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Full Answer

The asteroid impact theory suggests that dinosaurs died in a massive extinction as a result of a large asteroid hitting the planet. Evidence that supports this theory includes the presence of a metal called iridium in places where dinosaur fossils have been found. Iridium is a rare metal that is not commonly found on Earth, but is a common material in asteroids. Scientists believe the impact from the asteroid could have lead to the development of tsunamis and forest fires, as well as creating a layer of dust and ash that blocked out the light from the sun, plunging the planet into darkness and cold.

Other theories suggest that there was an increase in volcanic activity around the time that dinosaurs went extinct and they believe this activity would have destroyed habitats and pushed enough ash into the atmosphere to affect the climate and destroy vegetation.

The climate change theory states that Earth's climate gradually became cooler and drier, and that dinosaurs could not adapt to the change, leading to their gradual extinction.

Religious theories support the idea that dinosaurs died during the great flood in Noah's time.

While the topic of how dinosaurs went extinct is still up for debate, discoveries of new fossils offer more information about how they lived.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are some dinosaur facts?

    A:

    Birds evolved from dinosaurs, and some dinosaurs were warm-blooded. Mammals existed at the same time as dinosaurs, and most dinosaurs were vegetarian. Many dinosaurs had some form of intelligence as well.

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  • Q:

    Are there animals alive today that lived beside dinosaurs?

    A:

    There are some animals on earth that can be traced back to the Mesozoic Era when dinosaurs walked the earth; these animals include monotremes such as the duckbill platypus, reptiles such as the crocodilians and sea creatures such as the sea urchin. For the most part, the animals that are alive today have made evolutionary changes from the forms they had when dinosaurs were alive. For example, though the event that caused dinosaurs to die out also killed many other reptile species, several surviving reptile species have direct ancestors from that era, including the crocodilians, which are smaller than their Mesozoic ancestors.

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  • Q:

    How did the Triceratops become extinct?

    A:

    There are numerous theories regarding the extinction of the dinosaurs, including the triceratops, at the end of the Cretaceous period. The most prevalent theory describes the sudden destruction of the dinosaurs, and 50 to 75 percent of the planet's flora and other fauna, being due to a huge asteroid impact that dramatically altered the environment. However, despite strong evidence, there is no conclusive proof, explains the Smithsonian Institution.

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  • Q:

    How did the ankylosaurus become extinct?

    A:

    The ankylosaurus became extinct with the other great dinosaurs during the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event that occurred about 66 million years ago. While some questions remain about what caused this extinction, geologic evidence suggests that at least one massive asteroid or comet impacted the Earth, sending shock waves through the atmosphere and drastically changing the climate.

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