What exactly killed the dinosaurs? One of the most popular theories holds that the extinction event was driven by an asteroid collision. Evidence for the theory can be found in a thin layer of iridium in what's known as the K-T boundary, a (similarly thin) layer of sediment in the ground which marks where the surface of the Earth was 65 million years ago. Iridium is common in asteroids and not common on Earth. Its presence in the sediment would indicate an impact and release of the material. What happened next is still a matter of debate.
Did the collision kick up a tremendous cloud of dust and debris which ultimately blocked out the sun? Or start a massive forest fire whose CO2 release literally cooked life to death? The latest hypothesis, according to a new paper in Geology, posits that the asteroid collided with Earth in the Gulf of Mexico, directly into a huge oil deposit. The fuel would have vaporized instantaneously, then caught fire in the atmosphere, sending a giant ball of flame around the planet.
The evidence for the theory comes from the discovery of microscopic spheres of carbon in the K-T boundary. These droplets, known as cenospheres, are found only when hydrocarbons like oil are burnt. The spheres appear in eight of the thirteen excavated sites cited in the paper, and only in the K-T boundary. Whether the fire was solely responsible for the extinction is difficult to say; it is likely that a combination of factors were in play. This new development, however, could prove to be a key component in the whole picture.
Via Science Now
We've been told for years that the dinos were the source of oil. Oil before dinos, chickens before eggs...experts my ass.
a3rdleg, dinosaurs were around from approximately 250 million years ago until about 65 million years ago. this was known as the mesozoic era.
there were 9 other eras in earths history, extending back to the formation of the earth around 5 billion or so years ago.
life began in the second of these eras, at about 3.8 billions years ago. oil has been forming ever since.
most of our oil today is pre-dino oil. most of it would probably have formed during the carboniferous period, lasting from 359 million to 299 million years ago. there would have been plenty of underground oil at the time of the mass extinction event that killed the dinosaurs.
Highly speculative theories are just that. The Permian–Triassic extinction event as well as the Cretaceous–Tertiary extinction event whose causes are unknown are debatable. My guess the Sun burped.
what kind of crap is this? would forest fires have caused the extinction of marine dinos as well? really. puleeez
Uhhh, yes it would kill aquatic dinos if there was enough smoke to block the sun for an extended period. No sun, no photosynthesis, no marine algae, and then deaths on up the food chain.