There are many theories on how dinosaurs became extinct but scientists have not yet found a proven reason why. About sixty-five million years ago Dinosauriformes, or as we call them Dinosaurs, walked and roamed planet Earth. These massive carnivores, herbivores, and omnivores lived many years on earth before humans appeared. There were several variations of dinosaurs such as land, sea, and air dinosaurs. For a millions of years the dinosaurs thrived in their environment. They had an abundant food supply to eat and they had ample space to roam and reproduce offspring.
Unfortunately the dinosaurs did not last forever since they all mysteriously became extinct. Three of the main theories on how dinosaurs became extinct are climate changes, an asteroid impact, and massive volcanos erupting. Several scientists believe that global and climate changes may have made the environment too unstable for the dinosaurs to survive which eventually killed them off. In the late Mesozoic era over time the earth changed in temperature causing the climate to become drier and cooler so the dinosaurs could not adapt to the changes (Climate Changes).
The dinosaur’s food supply was also affected by the climate change. When the climate change occurred, the temperatures dropped which killed many of the plants (Smith). This decreased the herbivores food supply and when the herbivores died from starvation so did the carnivores since they couldn’t eat the herbivores (Smith). Apart from environmental adaption and reduced food supply, the climate change may have affected the way dinosaurs reproduced. With the widespread decrease in temperatures, scientists believe that the change of temperature might have made all the new offspring the same gender (Than).
This occurrence would make it impossible for the dinosaurs to reproduce since all the new offspring were of the same gender. Climate change could have caused all or some of these factors to occur affecting the dinosaur’s survival and eventually leading to their demise. Aside from climate change, another theory for the dinosaur’s extinction is an asteroid impact that struck the earth about 65 million years ago (Q). This theory was first introduced by physicist Luis Alvarez and his son geologist Walter Alvarez (Vergano). Later on other scientist backed up the Alvarez’s asteroid extinction theory with geological evidence.
Proof of the asteroid collision was found in Chicxulub, Mexico with the discovery of a gargantuan crater that was more than 110 miles wide (Vergano). The explosion that created the crater would have been made by an asteroid that was at least 6 miles across releasing as much energy as 100 trillion tons of TNT (Q). This explosion is a billion times more powerful than the atomic bombs that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki (Q). Scientist also believe that this explosion created dense clouds of dust blocking the sun’s rays, as well as darkening and chilling Earth to deadly levels for most plants and, in turn, many animals (Vergano).
With this drastic drop in temperatures, it would have been nearly impossible for any life form to survive let alone the dinosaurs. The third most popular dinosaur extinction theory was that a massive volcano eruption killed the dinosaur species. Princeton University researchers found many massive volcano eruptions in India, dating back approximately 66 million years ago, which spewed enormous amounts of climate-altering gases into the atmosphere (EarthSky. org).
The extensive study from the university showed promising evidence for this theory. Researchers found that the Deccan Traps, a primeval volcanic range in western India, began its series of eruptions 250,000 years before K-pg (EarthSky. org). For the next 750,000 years the volcanos from the Deccan Traps unleashed more than 264,000 cubic miles (EarthSky. org). The poisonous gas that was released into the air and the lava that spewed from the volcanic eruptions in Deccan traps had a huge hand in the dinosaur’s extinction (EarthSky. org).
The gas resulted in global warming and ocean acidification which blocked out the sun causing widespread cooling, choking the dinosaurs and poisoning sea life (EarthSky. org). The outpouring of lava 66 million years ago could have set off environmental changes that killed off the dinosaurs as well. Based on the evidence given from these three theories, I believe that asteroid impact is the most convincing. I think that this extinction theory provides the most physical and scientific proof. The first bit of evidence that captured my attention was the discovery of the enormous crater found in Mexico.
I also believe that the explosion that was unleashed by the asteroid impact was more than capable of wiping out the dinosaur species. Although, climate changes and volcanic eruptions are excellent theories on what might have wiped out the dinosaur population, I truly believe that the asteroid destroyed all the dinosaurs. The asteroid impact would have altered the dinosaur’s environment to the point where it became inhabitable and lead to their extinction. Overall, no one really knows for a fact the true reason why dinosaurs became extinct.