The most recent mass extinction event happened 66 million years ago and ended the era of the dinosaurs. This event was likely caused by an asteroid impact or a series of volcanic eruptions. New sedimentary evidence in the Yucatan peninsula indicates that an asteroid caused this event. The presence of iridium (which is common to asteroids) in the Yucatan soil gives clues to the size and speed of the asteroid.
- A thick layer of dust found in Chicxulub Crater indicates the dinosaurs were wiped out by an asteroid.
- Dust contained many layers of iridium, which is not common in the earth’s crust.
- Increased volcanic activity at Deccan Traps might have been caused by an asteroid impact 66 million years ago.
“Last week, an international team of scientists with data from four independent laboratories published a study claiming to have ended the debate. They say the 12km-wide asteroid was the one to blame.”