BEACON TRANSCRIPT – An asteroid is responsible for mass extinction in Antarctica, according to a new study published in the Nature Communications journal. We’re talking about the same killer-asteroid that wiped off dinosaurs off the face of the Earth some 66 million years ago. Approximately 70 percent of the animals in the Antarctica went extinct as a consequence of the impact. Was it just a coincidence?
This study is unique because it is the first to provide evidence that the Polar Regions faced the same fate as the warmer climates during the Cretaceous Period. This gives new insight about the massive extinctions at the end of that geological era. It was previously believed that the Polar Regions were located too far from the source of the impact to face the same consequences. Researchers have now come up with findings that show how a variety of marine species living in Antarctica suddenly disappeared at the same time with the mass extinctions of dinosaurs.
Scientists from the University of Leeds conducted a study on approximately 6,000 marine fossils from the Antarctic Peninsula. The creatures studied ranged from small invertebrates to big predators. The marine animals lived between 69 and 65 million years ago. According to the researchers, the catastrophic event that killed the creatures came unexpectedly. There is no other explanation for the sudden lowering of biodiversity and abundance in that area. An asteroid is responsible for mass extinction in Antarctica, concluded the scientists who studied the evidence for six years.
The new evidence found by the scientists further confirms that dinosaurs were killed by an asteroid. They refute the theory that dinosaurs’ extinction was caused by climate change led by volcanic activity, as previously thought. Researchers also contradict previous misconceptions that polar animals’ extinction was caused by erratic food supply and lack of sun.
Marine creatures’ fossils are valuable for scientists who want to shed light on the past. This is because they are often far better preserved than terrestrial ones. They are also more abundant. Thus, marine fossils can provide a larger set of data about the ecosystems and the biodiversity change that occurred in the geological past. This helps researchers to draw more documented conclusions about important events such as mass extinctions.
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