For decades, scientists have pondered over what exactly was the cause of the extinction of the dinosaurs on the Earth- was an asteroid hit or a giant volcano? Now, a new study seems to have found the answer- its both. A team of researchers have, in their new study, found that a massive volcanic eruption and an asteroid hit both together caused the end of the reign of the dinosaurs and wiped them off the face of the earth.
The researchers focused on a particular area in India called the Deccan Traps for their study. This area is basically a large area of mountain-sized lava deposits, which the researchers believe, was caused due to one of the largest volcanic eruptions the world has ever seen.
The researchers dated the crystal samples available from the site which contained traces of uranium which had started decaying into lead. The researchers were also able to pin point to the exact time when the volcano started- approximately 250,000 years before the event of extinction, and supposedly ended 500,000 years afterward, with a rather interesting twist.
The researchers claim that this volcanic eruption didn’t just cause the wipeout of dinosaurs from the earth, but rather, it changed the climate drastically and put the ecosystem under stress, probably getting it ready for the final blow.
The decades-long struggle to understand the exact cause of extinction has divided the scientific community into two- one who believe that it was asteroids that caused it, while the other who believe a volcanic eruption spurred it.
The researchers do believe that there is the possibility that something might have spurred this huge volcanic eruption- and it may be an asteroid hitting the earth. They also speculate that the volcanic eruptions may also have led to a viral attack which may have caused the extinction of these dinosaurs.
For now, science textbooks will probably mention a volcanic eruption being held responsible for this extinction until some new solid evidence comes forth.