Double Meteorite strike killed the dinosaurs
Published on August 29th, 2010 | by sylv3rblade0
We’ve all heard the theory that the massive reptiles known as dinosaurs we’re wiped out some by a meteorite hitting the earth some 65 million years ago. A new research suggests that it wasn’t one but two different meteorites. What’s interesting is that they struck Earth thousands of years apart.
The second impact crater is located in Ukraine and was actually reported in 2002 but scientists were unsure of how the timing related to the original impact crater, the one located in the Gulf of Mexico. This new study examines fossil plants that have filled the crater and more specifically, ferns.
The discovery of a second impact crater suggests that the dinosaurs were driven to extinction by a “double whammy” rather than a single strike.
Ferns have an amazing ability to bounce back after catastrophe. Layers full of fern spores – dubbed “fern spikes” – are considered to be a good “markers” of past impact events.
However, there was an unexpected discovery in store for the scientists. They located a second “fern spike” in a layer one meter above the first, suggesting another later impact event. Professor Simon Kelley of the Open University, who was co-author on the study, said: “We interpret this second layer as the aftermath of the Chicxulub impact.”
This shows that the Boltysh and Chicxulub impacts did not happen at exactly the same time. They struck several thousand years apart, the length of time between the two “fern spikes”.
Rather than having a single meteor causing the Extinction Level Event (term from Deep Impact ), the researchers think that dinosaurs may have fallen victim to a meteorite shower raining down over thousands of years.
What might have caused this bombardment is highly uncertain but it does give light to the theory that the Earth possibly endured a meteor shower that spanned thousands of years, which is sort of insane and frightening to think about. It’s fully possible that they’ll discover more evidence of impact events in the future.