Snapshot of extinction: Fossils show day of killer asteroid
of Kansas doctoral student, that appeared in a New Yorker magazine article published Friday but not in the scientific paper. DePalma did not return an email or phone message seeking comment.
For decades, the massive asteroid crash that caused the Chicxulub crater in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula has been considered the likely cause of the mass extinction often called the “KT boundary” for the division between two geologic time periods. But some scientists have insisted that massive volcanic activity played a role. Johnson and Melosh said this helps prove the asteroid crash case.
There were only a few dinosaur fossils from that time, but the footsteps are most convincing, Smit said.
There was more than dinosaurs, he said. The site includes ant nests, wasp nests, fragile preserved leaves and fish that were caught in the act of dying. He said that soon after fish die they get swollen bellies and these fossils didn’t show swelling.
The researchers said the inland tsunami points to a massive earthquake generated by the asteroid crash, somewhere between a magnitude 10 and 11. That’s more than 350 times stronger than the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.
Purdue’s Melosh said as he read the study, he kept saying “wow, wow, what a discovery.”
The details coming out of this are “mind-blowing,” he said.
WFriday ASHINGTON (AP) — New research released captures a fossilized snapshot of the day nearly 66 million years ago when an asteroid smacked Earth, fire rained from the sky and the ground shook far worse than any modern earthquake.