Feeds

Volcanic activity did for the dinosaurs

Asteroid simply the last straw, study suggests

SANS - Survey on application security programs

The dinosaurs might have been wiped out by a huge volcanic eruption, a new study suggests, rather than an asteroid strike 65m years ago, as is widely believed.

The possibility of a volcanic catastrophe being behind the fall of the great reptiles has long been mooted: the Deccan Traps in India are evidence of a series of huge volcanic eruptions that have been dated to around 65m years ago, the same time as the dinosaurs vanished from the Earth.

The eruptions would have sent massive quantities of ash and sulphur dioxide into the atmosphere, enough to have a significant impact on the climate, and possibly doom the terrible lizards.

However, until now, the eruptions were thought to have taken place sporadically, over the course of several million years. This would have given the environment and climate plenty of time to adjust, and has always made the asteroid strike the more likely candidate for the dinosaurs' sudden extinction.

The new study, conducted by scientists at the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris, suggests that much of the volcanic activity too place within a relatively short period of time - perhaps as little as 30,000 years, The Independent reports.

by studying the magnetisation of the lava, the researchers are able to estimate how the time period over which it solidified. They discovered that in 30,000 years a 660m thick layer of lava was deposited. This would have been accompanied by enough sulphur dioxide to alter the climate, and to alter the PH of the seas.

The arrival of the asteroid 65m years ago was just the icing on the cake.

"Paleontologists say the decline in the dinosaurs began long before the Chicxulub impact. We would argue that they were being poisoned due to the Deccan Traps," Dr. Mike Widdowson, a volcanologist from the Open University in Milton Keynes, told the paper. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Most Americans doubt Big Bang, not too sure about evolution, climate change – survey
Science no match for religion, politics, business interests
So, just how do you say 'the mutt's nuts' in French?
Vital linguistic question interrupts LOHAN spaceplane mission
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
LOHAN and the amazing technicolor spaceplane
Our Vulture 2 livery is wrapped, and it's les noix du mutt
Liftoff! SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts Dragon on third resupply mission to ISS
SpaceX snaps smartly into one-second launch window
STEALTHY NANOROBOTS dress up as viruses, prepare to sneak into YOUR BODY
Cloaking techniques nicked from viruses tackle roadblocks on way to medical frontier
prev story

Whitepapers

Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.