Feeds

Mammoths, sabre-tooths MURDERED by second giant space boulder

First the dinos, then the mastodons ... then ...

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

A 16-strong team of international boffins have added more evidence for the controversial theory that a gigantic asteroid smashed into the Earth 12,900 years ago and wiped out a range of furry mammals, including the mammoths.

The researchers found an ancient layer of thin, dark sediment buried at the bottom of Lake Cuitzeo in central Mexico that contains nano diamonds, impact spherules and other exotic materials that are only found after a cosmic impact.

The study shows that an asteroid that was probably bigger than several hundred metres in diameter and blasted through the atmosphere at a shallow angle, burning up biomass, melting surface rocks and causing major environmental disruption.

"These results are consistent with earlier reported discoveries throughout North America of abrupt ecosystem change, megafaunal extinction, and human cultural change and population reduction," James Kennett, professor of earth science at UC Santa Barbara, said in a tinned statement.

The sediment layer under Lake Cuitzeo is the same age as layers previously found in numerous locations in North America, Greenland and Western Europe, extending the asteroid's range into Mexico and the tropics for the first time.

This species-destroying asteroid is one of only two that boffins have found evidence for in sediment layers, the other being the dino-destroying rock that hurtled into the planet 65 million years ago. The second impact took place 12,900 years ago at the onset of an unusual cold climatic period called the Younger Dryas.

"The timing of the impact event coincided with the most extraordinary biotic and environmental changes over Mexico and Central America during the last approximately 20,000 years, as recorded by others in several regional lake deposits," said Kennett.

"These changes were large, abrupt, and unprecedented, and had been recorded and identified by earlier investigators as a ‘time of crisis.' "

The mammoth-murdering asteroid is also associated with the extinction of other North American animals including mastodons, sabre-tooth cats and dire wolves.

The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. ®

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 claimed lives of HIV/AIDS cure scientists
Researchers, advocates, health workers among those on shot-down plane
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Mwa-ha-ha-ha! Eccentric billionaire Musk gets his PRIVATE SPACEPORT
In the Lone Star State, perhaps appropriately enough
MARS NEEDS OCEANS to support life - and so do exoplanets
Just being in the Goldilocks zone doesn't mean there'll be anyone to eat the porridge
Diary note: Pluto's close-up is a year from … now!
New Horizons is less than a year from the dwarf planet
Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON
NASA won't be back any time soon, sadly
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.