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How Did The Dinosaur Extinction Happen? – An Easy Explanation

Team StoryWeavers|January 04, 2023, 13:13 IST| 2

Greetings, young learners!

Welcome to the newest episode of Kiki’s Knowledge Corner! I recently visited a dinosaur museum and loved it. It’s the only place where you can see these magnificent creatures and learn more about them if you are interested.

That is why, today, we will explore why the dinosaurs went extinct

When did dinosaurs go extinct?

According to the dinosaur fossils, teeth, and trackways found, dinosaurs lived on Earth for at least 230 million years. But about 65 million years ago, dinosaurs went extinct. The process through which a species of plant, animal, fish, or bird dies out and is no longer found on Earth is referred to as extinction. Dinosaurs are seen as a success in the history of life on Earth because they lasted so long.

A fossil dinosaur skeleton in The Natural History Museum, London, UK

What caused the extinction of dinosaurs?

Let’s learn more about what caused the extinction of dinosaurs. The fossil record shows that dinosaurs changed a lot in the first 175 million years of their lives. As the environment changed, new species of dinosaurs evolved that were better suited to the new climate conditions. The remains of an animal or plant that have hardened into rocks are called fossils. Dinosaurs that were not able to evolve went extinct. Evolve means to change over many generations into forms that can cope with changes in the environment and stay alive.

Illustration of a large asteroid colliding with Earth

It may be surprising to know that, on average, an unnoticed asteroid comes within a few million kilometres of Earth every day. And once every few thousand years, an asteroid hits the planet. The last time it occurred was in Siberia in 1908, and the little asteroid wiped out a forest covering over 2,000 square kilometres. However, a global effect that destroys all life is rare. 

Over 65 million years ago, an asteroid of 10 kilometres wide hit the Earth, causing an explosion larger than all the hydrogen bombs ever created. The asteroid caused a lot of dirt, dust, and rocks to be thrown into the air. Dust and dirt filled the world and darkened the sky because the sun’s light was blocked. In addition, there were several forest fires. As a result, the planet froze. That is why we could say that the dinosaurs were wiped off by wildfires, followed by darkness and extremely cold temperatures. 

There were numerous volcanic eruptions before the asteroid struck Earth. Between 60 and 65 million years ago, huge amounts of lava poured out of the Deccan Traps, the ancient lava flow in India. The release of these gases into the atmosphere may have changed the global temperature, ultimately leading to the extinction of the dinosaurs.

Dinosaur scientists, also called palaeontologists, still don’t know what exactly caused the end of dinosaurs. It is possible that two bad things, asteroids and volcanoes, may have happened to the dinosaurs at the same time. Regardless of the cause, the void created by the extinction of the dinosaurs was soon filled by the rapid evolution of both birds (the only surviving dinosaurs) and mammals.

How would the world be if dinosaurs were still around? How much fun would it be to play with your dinosaur friend? Tell us in the comments section below. Do tell us if you have any other questions regarding dinosaurs.

Also read, 


References:

  • https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/why-birds-survived-and-dinosaurs-went-extinct-after-asteroid-hit-earth-180975801/
  • https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/article/dinosaur-extinction
  • https://www.nhm.ac.uk/discover/dinosaur-extinction.html
  • https://www.usgs.gov/faqs/when-did-dinosaurs-become-extinct 
  • https://www.esa.int/kids/en/learn/Our_Universe/Comets_and_meteors/Death_of_the_dinosaurs 
  • https://volcano.oregonstate.edu/deccan-traps

About the Author


“Me-kha-la!” That happens at least once when she introduces herself to new people. She wholeheartedly believes in the quote by Arthur Rubinstein that says – “if you love life, life will love you back”. She is an organizational psychologist and psychometrician. She was a class teacher of 36 adorable girls for two years, grades 2 & 3, as a part of the Teach For India Fellowship. These little girls have a special place in her heart, and when she writes for children, she writes for them!

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FSS

January 20, 2023

I love Kiki’s knowledge corner!I’m from Sri Lanka and I always wanted know what dino scientists are called.and as to your question,it would be great to have dinos in the present life but they become angry and destroy us too,but if we could act nice to them then they will be nice to us too!and I would love to have a dino friend who I’ll call Dan ,coz I don’t have anyone to play with.


Vivan

January 17, 2023

A very good read, my kid loved it.


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