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Did a lack of diversity kill the dinosaurs ?


Posted on Sunday, 4 November, 2012 | Comment icon 3 comments


Image credit: CC 2.0 Jordi PayĆ 

 
If the extinction asteroid had hit earlier than it did would the dinosaurs have still been wiped out ?

Scientists at the University of Chicago believe that the extinction of the dinosaurs was not down to the asteroid impact alone but also to a lack of diversity during the period of time in which the impact occurred. In contrast the ecosystem was far less fragile around 13 million years before the extinction event, suggesting that if the asteroid had hit at that time instead the dinosaurs might not have been wiped out at all and could have survived until modern times.

The study not only teaches us more about the events of the past but may also be a warning to future generations. "Besides shedding light on this ancient extinction, our findings imply that seemingly innocuous changes to ecosystems caused by humans might reduce the ecosystems' abilities to withstand unexpected disturbances," said Professor Peter Roopnarine.

"The researchers suggest that climate change in the Cretaceous led to a number of changes, including the drying of a sea in North America."

  View: Full article |  Source: Daily Tech

  Discuss: View comments (3)

   


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Chooky88 on 4 November, 2012, 14:32
Short answer. "no" species evolve and change. Without necessarily dying out. The Dinos were spectacularly successful and this theory is just ignorant and smacks of old school thinking. The Dinos of today would be likely different but still Dinos. You need to see them as a genera over millions of years. Not a few species.
Comment icon #2 Posted by Timid Ares on 4 November, 2012, 16:26
Exactly. Dinosaurs were the dominant organism on this planet from the late Triassic period all the way to the Cretaceous, they didnt stay that way by being the same. They adapted and branched off into countless variants over what what seem like eons to us. The problem with this theory is that there already WAS an abundance of diversity during the time of the dinosaurs. Fish, insects, lesser mammals, smaller reptiles, amphibians, all of these were around and thriving during the saurian era. Heck, there were dinosaurs that were already making the change into birds as early as the late Jurass... [More]
Comment icon #3 Posted by Taylor Reints on 4 November, 2012, 16:43
I don't see what is wrong with the theory. All this paper is saying is that the ecosystem--not the dinosaurs themselves--was less diverse than it was thirteen million years before. This is true, because the Niobrara Sea actually dried up about 80 million years ago.


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