December 4, 2003 | David F. Coppedge

If a Meteor Roasted the Dinosaurs, Where’s the Charcoal?

A majority of scientists continue to believe that a falling asteroid felled the dinosaurs 65 million years ago, but problems remain.  London geologists went looking for evidence of charcoal at the Cretaceous-Tertiary layers, when the assumed impact occurred, assuming that the force of impact would have ignited a worldwide conflagration (thus the extinction of the big beasts).  But they found none, reports Nature Science Update.  How can you have a barbecue without charcoal?  Maybe, instead, the impact sent voluminous dust into the atmosphere, blocking sunlight and lowering the planet’s temperature drastically.  “In other words,“ the article speculates, “the dinosaurs might have frozen, not roasted.”

Other anomalies are calling this popular speculation into question (see June 2 headline, for instance).  If this theory for dinosaur extinction goes, scientists will be back at square one.  Explaining why certain species disappeared suddenly while others did just fine is no easy task, especially when you can’t rent the video to see what really happened.

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Categories: Dinosaurs

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