On the basis of an all-encompassing analysis thus far of the evidence pertaining to the dinosaurs’ extinction, an international panel of experts has come to a unanimous conclusion that the demise of dinosaurs resulted from a space impact; thereby ruling out alternative theories like large-scale volcanism and multiple impacts.
For the comprehensive analysis, European researchers brought together “a K-T boundary dream team” – as Kirk R. Johnson of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science put it – including as many as 45 internationally-renowned scientists, from an array of disciplines, to explore the most probable causes of the extinction of dinosaurs.
The conclusions of the wide-ranging analysis – to be published in the Friday edition of the journal Science – reveal that the massive Gulf of Mexico impact, 65.5 million years back, was the key culprit in the annihilation of dinosaurs.
As per the scientists, the high-speed 7.5-mile-wide asteroid, which hit the Gulf of Mexico, released gargantuan energy - which blew dirt and rock all over the world; knocked down forests; and triggered colossal wildfires, massive tsunamis and earthquakes.
The devastating sequence of events - called the greatest extinction event in history – eliminated over half of all species on Earth including, along with dinosaurs, the bird-like pterosaurs, huge marine reptiles, and a number of smaller land and sea creatures; thereby making way for the emergence of mammals as the dominant form of life on Earth.