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Dinosaurs roamed the Earth for ~150 million years until a massive asteroid impacting the Earth triggered mass extinction events. The talks for this evening will firstly focus on the origin of dinosaurs, before moving on to discuss the extinction event that caused their demise.
In with a whimper, out with a bang: the origin and extinction of dinosaurs
Professor Paul Barrett (Professor of Earth Sciences)
Dinosaurs ruled for ~150 million years and pervade our culture in ways unmatched by other prehistoric animals. Although they included the largest land animals, dinosaurs began as inconspicuous creatures in the shadow of other predators and herbivores. They profited from an extinction that wiped out their competition and took over ecosystems from Alaska to Antarctica. The group held sway until the cataclysmic events of 66 million years ago, when a meteor hit the Earth bringing their reign to an end. Nevertheless, they are still with us today, though they’re now all feathered...
The Chicxulub Asteroid Impact and Mass Extinction
Dr Gareth Collins (Reader in Planetary Science)
66 million years ago the age of the dinosaurs abruptly ended when an asteroid the size of the island of Jersey collided with Earth, in what is now the Gulf of Mexico. The impact, which now defines the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary, formed the 200-km wide Chicxulub crater and scattered debris across the entire globe. The environmental consequences were extraordinary and are believed to have triggered the largest mass extinction in 200 million years. I will describe the immediate aftermath of the Chicxulub asteroid impact and the probable causes of the extinction event.