If the Yucatán asteroid hadn’t struck, dinosaurs would have continued ruling Earth – and our primate forebears taken a really completely different evolutionary route
Sixty-six million years in the past, dinosaurs had an exceptionally dangerous day. A piece of house rock 9 kilometres throughout smacked into what’s now Mexico’s Yucatán peninsula, instantaneously triggering an extinction occasion that for ever modified the character of life on Earth. This is likely one of the uncommon moments once we can look again at a pivotal level, the place historical past veered off on an surprising path. Possibly that’s why we’ve been so obsessive about what would have occurred if Tyrannosaurus, Triceratops and different Cretaceous celebrities hadn’t gone extinct.
The urge to hit rewind on deep time and marvel concerning the destiny of the non-avian dinosaurs is even stronger now examine has decided that the horrible lizards weren’t solely unfortunate, however terribly unfortunate. The asteroid hit rock layers so wealthy in hydrocarbons that the affect threw huge quantities of soot and sulphate aerosols into the environment, placing the chilliness on organisms that survived the preliminary blast. And the kicker? Rocks with such quantities of hydrocarbons cowl solely about 13% of the Earth’s floor.
‘There’s no purpose to suppose that dinosaurs would have ceded the world to mammals if the extinction had been cancelled.’