It may seem an idle question. However, it is of vital importance. In what season did the dinosaurs disappear? Was it summer, winter? The time of year plays an important role in many biological functions. Reproduction, feeding strategies, seasonal dormancy. That’s why some researchers attacked that question.
The importance of timing
It’s an international team of scientists. They determined the exact season of the year when the asteroid fell. It’s known that it hit the Yucatan Peninsula. And this disaster caused the extinction of the dinosaurs.
“Why determine the time of year? Because it influences the timing of a danger on a global scale. It plays an important role in the severity of its impact on life.” So says Robert DePalma, lead author of the research.
Many know of the asteroid fall created the Chicxulub crater 66 million years ago. It extinguished 75% of life on Earth. But the answer to this question has never been answered before. The study concluded that the fall of the asteroid occurred when spring was in progress in the northern hemisphere. More specifically, between late spring and early summer.
Study of remains
How was it done? To the north in the USA, there are fossil remains of several vertebrates that were killed by the catastrophe. A tsunami created a layer of sediment that covered the area.
“The data tell us what happened at the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary. And also exactly when it happened. It’s amazing,” explained Anton Oleinik, co-author of the study.
They studied the spines of fossilized fish. An analysis of the growth lines confirmed it. These species died in the spring-summer phase.
We want to understand the past. There are still many questions about the event that changed our planet. At least we now know in which season the dinosaurs disappeared. Someday, we may discover more of the secrets of this catastrophe.