Life & Style Weekend - - STUFF -

Sixty-six mil­lion years ago, the world burned. An as­ter­oid crashed to Earth with a force one mil­lion times larger than the largest atomic bomb, caus­ing the ex­tinc­tion of the di­nosaurs. But di­nosaurs weren’t the only ones. In a new study, sci­en­tists learned the planet’s forests were dec­i­mated, lead­ing to the ex­tinc­tion of tree-dwelling birds. The birds that did sur­vive were ground-dwellers, whose fos­silised re­mains show longer, stur­dier legs like mod­ern ki­wis and emus. “The end-cre­ta­ceous event is the fifth mass ex­tinc­tion – we’re in the sixth,” pa­le­on­tol­o­gist and co-au­thor of the study in Cur­rent Bi­ol­ogy Re­gan Dunn said. “It’s im­por­tant for us to un­der­stand what hap­pens when you destroy an ecosys­tem ... so we can know how our ac­tions will af­fect what comes af­ter us.”

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