[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]
Report Sez Volcanic Gases Killed The Dinosaurs
Gas may be to blame for extinction
Contrarian theory argues against meteorite killing dinosaurs.
A worldwide burp of volcanic gases caused the mass extinction that wiped
out dinosaurs and other creatures 65 million years ago, says research
reported this week. Its the latest argument from a group that has been
trying for some time to discredit the leading theory that a meteorite
striking Mexico led to the mass die-offs.
The international team says that we should instead blame plumes of
climate-altering gas given off by monumental lava flows that stretch
hundreds of kilometres across India.
The Deccan Traps, as theyre called, have been suspected before of having
some sort of global impact around the end of the Cretaceous period and the
beginning of the Tertiary, known as the KT boundary. Earlier research had
dated the main outburst of the lava flows as occurring within 800,000
years of the boundary. But the new analysis uses tiny plankton fossils,
trapped between lava layers, to date the flow to the boundary itself.
This is the first time we can link the main phase of the Deccan Traps to
the mass extinction, says team leader Gerta Keller, a palaeontologist at
Princeton University in New Jersey. Keller and Thierry Adatte of the
University of Neuchtel in Switzerland presented their research on 30
October in Denver, Colorado, at the annual meeting of the Geological
Society of America.