Dinosaurs were one of the most magnificent creatures to walk the planet. They came in many shapes, sizes, and colors due to the many species. However, their rule on Earth ended when a massive meteor hit the planet. Or did dinosaurs die off due to evolutionary failures? Or maybe it was climate change. Explore these three theories about how the dinosaurs became extinct.
Let’s begin by discussing one of the most well-known hypotheses—an asteroid wiped out the dinosaurs. Many scientists believe this could be the cause because a massive crater is on the Yucatán Penisula in Mexico. The basin is 6 miles wide, and the impact alone could’ve killed countless dinosaurs.
After hitting the Earth, massive earthquakes likely began. All the tectonic activity could’ve also caused tsunamis or even volcanic eruptions. Scientists also theorize that after Earth cooled down and the smoke cleared, the ice age began, which would’ve wiped out many surviving dinosaurs. Those that evolved into modern creatures like birds are the exception.
On the topic of evolution, let’s get into our next theory! Some scientists believe dinosaurs would’ve died off despite the meteor due to evolution. Many species were oversized or too slow, which could’ve caused them to naturally die off. The evolutionary theory of natural selection explains that only strong and strategic creatures survive. While some dinosaurs were intelligent, others, such as the stegosaurs, had lower IQs.
The final theory about how the dinosaurs became extinct links to Earth’s changing climate. In the early days of our planet, it was sweltering and unpredictable through the Mesozoic Era. These natural changes in the environment could’ve killed off some dinosaurs. During the Ice Age, Earth plunged to freezing temperatures that many of these prehistoric reptiles weren’t born for.
Bonus Dino Fact
It’s most likely that a combination of theories wiped the dinosaurs off our planet. While the meteor killed many of them, it also triggered catastrophic events that could’ve aided climate change. Likewise, many beasts died at the end of the Jurassic Period, so many dinosaurs probably wouldn’t have lived long after the Cretaceous Period. Earth underwent constant changes without the meteor, so dinosaurs as we know them likely couldn’t exist in our modern world.
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