66 million years ago the dinosaurs went extinct following an asteroid the size of Texas hitting the earth. Even though some scientists are under the impression that they would have died out regardless, the conclusions of a new study show that if the asteroid didn’t hit the earth, they may have still been here.
The study comes from a research team at both London’s Museum of Natural History and the University of Bath. They say that at the time the asteroid hit, the dinosaurs would still have been the dominant species with no signs that the control was shifting to mammals or birds. The researchers make the argument that the prior theories only lacked fossils, not hard/tangible evidence. The study’s lead author Joe Bonsor explained that “What we found is that the dinosaurs were still dominant, they were still widespread and still doing really well,” he said. “If the asteroid impact had never happened then they might not have died out and they would have continued after the Cretaceous.” He continued saying: “The main point of what we are saying is that we don’t really have enough data to know either way what would have happened to the dinosaurs,”
“Generally in the fossil record there is a bias towards a lack of data, and to interpret those gaps in the fossil record as an artificial decline in diversification rates isn’t what we should be doing. Instead we’ve shown that there is no strong evidence for them dying out, and that the only way to know for sure is to fill in the gaps in the fossil record.”
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