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Indian dinosaurs were killed by volcanic eruption

Washington, Dec 10 (): Dinosaur’s extinction in the world was due to the volcanoes or asteroids, the debate goes through for years. But a new study shows that volcanic activity in earlier India, not an asteroid, may have destroyed the dinosaurs.

In the research, Deccan Traps, a volcanic region near Mumbai in present-day India spewed poisonous sulfur and carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which affected the mass extinction of the animals through the resulting global warming and ocean acidification. In 2009, oil companies drilling off the East coast of India exposed eons-old lava-filled sediments buried nearly 2 miles (3.3 kilometers) below the ocean surface.

This volcanic eruption may have killed off the dinosaurs about 65 million years ago in the mass die-off known as the K-T extinction. The sediments bore layers of lava that had travelled nearly 1,000 miles (1,603 km) from the Deccan Traps.

Earlier, it was argued that a great giant meteorite impact at Chicxulub in Mexico, around 65 million years ago released heavy toxic amounts of gas and dust, blocking out the Sunlight to cause widespread cooling, obstructing the dinosaurs and poisoning sea life. This impact of meteorite may also have set off huge volcanic activity, earthquakes and tsunamis.

Gerta Keller, a geologist at Princeton University who conducted the study said “Our new information calls for a reassessment of what really caused the K-T mass extinction.” she argues that some of the chemical components of the asteroid showed up after the dinosaurs were already extinct. She also believes that the meteorite crash would not have produced the level of toxic sulfur and carbon dioxide that was found in the rocks in the area.

Keller and her team found that the sediments contained plentiful fossils from around the boundary between the Cretaceous-Tertiary periods, or K-T Boundary, when dinosaurs vanished. Within the fossil record, plankton species got fewer, smaller and maintained less elaborate shells immediately after lava layers, which would indicate it happened in years after the eruptions. Most species gradually died off.

She also told “We call it a disaster opportunist. It’s like a cockroach — whenever things go bad, it will be the one that survives and thrives.”

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