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..not dinosaurs, but comets ...
Scientists say comet killed off mammoths, saber-toothed tigers
January 2nd, 2009
By Robert Mitchum in Space & Earth science / Earth Sciences
Photo... Woolly Mammoths. Credit: Mauricio Anton
First an explosion as powerful as thousands of megatons of TNT rained
meteorites down on North America. Then forest fires broke out across the
continent, sending up a thick layer of soot and dust that blocked out the
sun. A sudden ice age ensued, and some of the Earth's largest animals went
extinct in a blink of geological time.
It's well known that a meteorite colliding with Earth is considered the most
likely reason dinosaurs died off 65 million years ago. Now a team of
scientists says it has found new evidence that a comet triggered a similar
extinction much more recently: just 13,000 years ago, when humans were
around to witness the event and suffer its terrible consequences.
The researchers also think that when the comet exploded above the planet's
surface - ultimately killing off mammoths, saber-toothed tigers and other
large mammals that roamed North America - Chicago wasn't too far from ground
"If you'd been in Chicago back in that time,
The idea that a comet may have caused catastrophic climate change and
extinction relatively recently in Earth's long history suggests scientists
shouldn't dismiss the possibility of it happening again, Wolbach said.
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