66 million years ago, the impact of an asteroid caused the end of dinosaurs on Earth. But new research shows that the dinosaurs havent been very good by then.
The study shows that dinosaurs were in tribulation 10 million years before the asteroids impact on what is now Mexcio. The researchers analyzed 1600 fossils from 247 different dino-species. Ultimately, one could calculate the diversity and extinction ratios of six dinosaur families.
“We looked at the six largest families in the entire era, which ran from 150 to 66 million years ago. There we saw that all six actually did pretty well,” says Fabien Condamine of the Institut des Sciences de lEvolution in Montpelllier. “But 76 million years ago there was a reversal: there were more species extinct and new species in some cases no longer existed.”
The researchers used computer models to achieve the most likely results. “In the analyses, we examined several causes for the dinosa decline,” says Mike Benton, co-author of the study. “There were clearly two major factors. First, the climate became obviously cooler, which made the dinos lives harder because they were used to heat. This followed the silent reduction of the herbivores, making ecosystems more unstable and that affected other dinoses. The surviving species were most susceptible to extinction, possibly because they were unable to adapt to the new conditions.”