Ancient Earth Cores Upend Theory About Life After Dino-Killing Asteroid

Ancient Earth Cores Upend Theory About Life After Dino-Killing Asteroid

In the journal Nature, scientists conveyed their shock that these drilled-out earth cores “undermine a theory that recovery at sites closest to the crater is the slowest due to environmental contaminants — such as toxic metals — released by the impact.”

First, let’s return to 66 million years in the past: The asteroid strike, also referred to as the Cretaceous-Paleogene (Ok-PG) extinction event, ended the reign of the dinosaurs, and killed most animals over 55 kilos —though crocodiles and leather-backed sea turtles famously have survived. While the asteroid was estimated to be between six and 9 miles in diameter, it created a 93-mile vast crater that was ultimately named after the 5,000-person city of Chicxulub, Mexico, a burg that exists close to the middle of the crater partly on the Yucatan Peninsula, partly within the sea.

Scientists realized that life the place the mega-asteroid landed got here again solely two to a few years after it hit, which was a shock. And about 30,000 years later, a thriving ecosystem had returned to the world across the crater. Meanwhile, issues had been quieter to the north within the Gulf of Mexico, and additional out within the North Atlantic ocean. It took ten occasions as lengthy for a thriving ecosystem to return there, an estimated 300,000 years.

“I think the most exciting result here is that we see the development of a healthy, high productivity ecosystem in the crater within just 30,000 years,” lead writer Christopher Lowery, Ph.D. tells Inverse.

“Previously existing data had suggested that the ecosystems took longer to recover closer to the site of the crater, with sites in the Gulf of Mexico and North Atlantic taking up to 300,000 years to return to Cretaceous levels of productivity.”

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