Q:

How did dinosaurs die?

A:

Quick Answer

There are multiple theories as to why dinosaurs died out, such as asteroid impact, volcanic activity, and climate change. There are many theories because none has been proven to be 100 percent certain as the reason for the dinosaurs’ demise.

Know More

Full Answer

The asteroid impact theory suggests that dinosaurs died in a massive extinction as a result of a large asteroid hitting the planet. Evidence that supports this theory includes the presence of a metal called iridium in places where dinosaur fossils have been found. Iridium is a rare metal that is not commonly found on Earth, but is a common material in asteroids. Scientists believe the impact from the asteroid could have lead to the development of tsunamis and forest fires, as well as creating a layer of dust and ash that blocked out the light from the sun, plunging the planet into darkness and cold.

Other theories suggest that there was an increase in volcanic activity around the time that dinosaurs went extinct and they believe this activity would have destroyed habitats and pushed enough ash into the atmosphere to affect the climate and destroy vegetation.

The climate change theory states that Earth's climate gradually became cooler and drier, and that dinosaurs could not adapt to the change, leading to their gradual extinction.

Religious theories support the idea that dinosaurs died during the great flood in Noah's time.

While the topic of how dinosaurs went extinct is still up for debate, discoveries of new fossils offer more information about how they lived.

Learn more about Dinosaurs

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What happened to the dinosaurs?

    A:

    The end of the dinosaurs is one of the greatest mysteries of paleontology. The leading theory of their extinction involves a massive meteor impact, possibly the one that created the Chicxulub crater in Mexico. Alternative theories include multiple global impacts, a sudden change in the sea level and a worldwide increase in volcanic activity that drastically altered the atmosphere and global climate.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the largest carnivore in the world?

    A:

    The largest carnivore to ever walk the earth was Spinosaurus, the largest of the dinosaurs, while the largest living carnivore is the male Southern elephant seal. Although fossil records are not sufficiently complete to determine a precise size, experts estimate that the Spinosaurus grew to 59 feet long and weighed as much as 9.9 tons. The largest bull Southern elephant seal was 22.5 feet long and weighed 11,000 pounds.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Were there any dinosaurs that swam?

    A:

    True dinosaurs were not swimmers. There were a number of very large aquatic reptiles that lived during the age of the dinosaur, but they were not technically dinosaurs. These creatures belonged to one of several other groups, such as ichthyosaurs, plesiosaurs and mosasaurs, which were types of marine reptiles.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why was the brontosaurus's name changed to the apatosaurus?

    A:

    The gigantic, herbivorous Brontosaurus, which features an iconically long neck and tail, may be one of history's most famous dinosaurs, but its existence as a unique species was debunked in 1903, when someone realized that the skeleton that had been labeled as a Brontosaurus was actually an Apatosaurus. In this sense, the Brontosaurus was not renamed but rather determined to have never existed as a separate species. The same man, a Yale paleontologist named Othniel Charles (O.C.) Marsh, named both the Apatosaurus and the Brontosaurus, with the Apatosaurus discovery predating the Brontosaurus naming by two years.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore