Scientists have obtained more precise dates for the Deccan Traps volcanic lava flows, linking peak activity more closely to the asteroid or comet impact 66 million years ago and the coincident mass extinction. But if greenhouse gases emitted before the impact created a hothouse climate that set life up for a fall when the impact cooled the planet, those gases did not coincide with the largest lava flows from the Deccan Traps.
This work started 10 years ago, when the first dates using the OSL method were obtained. It is then that the first traces of footprints left by vertebrates were found. In subsequent years the successive natural collapse of sand has revealed further material and has permitted a detailed study including new dates.
A new dinosaur that wears its ‘heart’ on its tail provides new clues to how ecosystems evolved on the African continent during the Cretaceous period.
Scientists have discovered the fossils of an iguana-sized reptile, which they named ‘Antarctic king,’ that lived at the South Pole 250 million years ago (it used to be warmer). Antarctanax was an early cousin of the dinosaurs, and it shows how life bounced back after the world’s biggest mass extinction.