We all know that dinosaurs died because of the asteroid that hit the Earth, right? But what if that isn’t true? A new theory comes to turn upside down everything we thought regarding this subject. So how did the dinosaurs die after all?
The Asteroid Was Innocent
According to a new research, the dinosaurs were in for trouble long before the asteroid happened to strike the Earth. As it seems, this species did not have a conditioned taste aversion. This means that they weren’t able to avoid foods that made them ill. Taste aversion is a protection mechanism that has been observed in plenty of species. It is learned after the individuals eat some potentially harmful or even poisonous things.
Going back to the Cretaceous, there were flowering plants, called angiosperms, almost everywhere. They appear in the fossil record a long way before the asteroid impact. What made the scientists asks some questions is the fact that they appeared right before the extinction of the dinosaurs began. This suggests a clear link between the two events.
Moreover, the researchers also had a look at the birds and crocodilians to find more support for this idea. As such, they saw that the birds can have an aversion towards the looks of something that made them sick. However, a previous study shows that crocodilians didn’t develop the taste aversion.
Gordon Gallup, an evolutionary psychologist who works at the University of Albany, declared that the asteroid was certainly one of the factors that led to this extinction. However, the species were already strained because of the psychological deficit they had. They were incapable to stop eating what hurt them. The idea is that if their death would have been caused by the asteroid itself, their disappearance should have been sudden. However, the disappearing process had begun long before the impact and it continued for millions of years after that.
Brad is a former Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University, is an award-winning travel, culture, and parenting writer. His writing has appeared in many of the Canada’s most respected and credible publications, including the Toronto Star, CBC News and on the cover of Smithsonian Magazine. A meticulous researcher who’s not afraid to be controversial, he is nationally known as a journalist who opens people’s eyes to the realities behind accepted practices in the care of children. Brad is a contributing journalist to Advocator.ca