Scientists wonder if volcanoes make the dinosaur extinction even worse? this is due to a recent study that confirms that old theory about the extinction is false. Specifically, that it was volcanic outgassing that led to the extinction of the dinosaurs. While this is or was a commonly held theory it has slowly lost ground over decades to the meteor impact theory. Of course, as is so often the case in life it appears that neither one of these theories can explain everything. Put another way, is it possible that both these events could have contributed to the extinction of the dinosaurs?
As most people are aware, the dinosaurs a long extinct species of pseudo-reptile ruled the earth millions of years ago. That is until they mysteriously went extinct around 65 million years ago. While it’s difficult given such a large time to pin down the exact duration of the event it was sudden. More than likely over the course of several months up to a few years all the dinosaurs were dead. More precisely all the dinosaurs of the more commonly recognized species from fossil record were dead. it is now common knowledge among scientists that some species of dinosaur did survive. Specifically, is believed that all birds are descendants of the dinosaurs. This however brings up a question why did only the small animals survive. While the extinction would’ve wiped out a large segment of the dinosaurs of greater size smaller ones should remain. Specifically, theoretically dinosaurs from dog size on down should have been able to survive.
Did volcanoes make the extinction worse
there is substantial evidence in the geologic record that volcanic activity was increasing at the time of the late Cretaceous. In fact, an entire extinction theory is based around this increased activity. The theory suggested that abnormally high volcanic activity released greenhouse gases. The result was a global temperature increase that would have altered the ecosystems dangerously. However, new evidence out of India indicates that by the time such a shift occurred the extinction was already underway. That being said, there is clear evidence that the dinosaurs were already feeling pressure from increased. Some studies indicate that at the time of the Cretaceous there was as many as 20% more active volcanoes worldwide then there are today. Since dinosaurs laid eggs this was already having a detrimental impact on many species birthrates. The greenhouse gases would have affected the construction of the egg and terminates the embryo within.
This would resulted in significantly reduced numbers of certain species at the time of the extinction. however, they volcanic activity did further compound the extinction as time progressed after the meteor impact. Once again, the new evidence out of India from a long dormant lava field shows that outgassing occurred. Though it was too late to be causing the extinction it would have push the surviving dinosaurs further the edge. Specifically, it would have basically destroying what was left of the system and resulted in only the most adaptable surviving. Which means the smallest creatures that require the least energy to survive. So it appears that yes, volcanoes did make the extinction of the source even worse.