The Extinction Of The Dinosaurs Essay

2112 words - 8 pages

Rapid climate change also ends up on the suspect list of possible dinosaur extinction events. During the latter part of the Cretaceous Period continents broke up causing volcanoes to erupt and fill the sky with gas and ash resulting in a drastic climate change (“Dinosaurs Climate Change and Biodiversity”). The shifting of continents changed the Earth’s landscape, altering weather patterns and overall climate (“Dinosaur Extinction Theories”). Also, over a long period of time, climate gradually changed. Ocean habits changed, temperatures grew much more extreme causing scorching summers and frigid winters (Norell, Dingus, and Gaffney). Radical temperature changes like these led to a green-house effect, making life for the dinosaurs a lot more difficult (“Dinosaur Extinction Theories”). Changes in rainfall caused some places to suffer droughts and other places flooded, killing almost all the wildlife in affected areas (“Dinosaur Extinction Theory”). Around the middle part of the Cretaceous period a ten degree Celsius increase in average world temperature occurred (“Dinosaurs Climate Change and Biodiversity”). The climate change could’ve possibly happened over a long time span. Fossils show that woodland vegetation took the spot of tropical plants due to the Earth cooling. Perhaps dinosaurs could not adapt to this, resulting in their extinction.
While the climate change theory offers a lot of evidence there a counter-argument exists. People wonder why a large climate change caused some animals to die out, but not all of them. Nobody knows for sure but scientists and paleontologists still look for answers to why some organisms were affected and some were not (“Dinosaur Extinction Theories”).
Some experts say that dinosaurs died off because early mammals consumed all their food and resources, along with feeding on the Dinosaur’s eggs (Norell, Dingus, and Gaffney). They say as mammals continued to evolve, they drove the dinosaurs into extinction (“What Killed the Dinosaurs”). “Not only did mammals likely compete with dinosaurs for resources, many species survived the end-Cretaceous extinction and subsequently came to dominate Earth.” (“What Killed the Dinosaurs?”). This is primarily because the early mammals were a lot smaller than the mammals that exist today. “Some of the world's earliest mammals were the multituberculates, a group of small rodent like animals that first emerged on Earth about 165 million years ago.” (Welsh, Jennifer). Scientists predict that any mass extinction event that caused animals to go extinct affected larger animals than it did the smaller animals, such as mammals ("Dinosaurs Became Extinct 'due to Laying Eggs'"). Mammals remained small for almost 100 million years, while they out competed small and baby dinosaurs for food, shelter and resources until they were extinct. Once the dinosaurs were out of the way mammals were able to evolve and grow large in size like the mammals that exist today today (LiveScience). Fossil...

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