This web page contains dinosaur extinction facts for kids and is a great resource for anyone of any age who wants to learn why the dinosaurs went extinct. We’re going to provide you with the latest and most accurate facts about the dinosaur extinction. Alongside these facts, we provide additional resources on the extinction of the dinosaurs.
The dinosaur extinction facts below will help you understand what may have caused dinosaurs to go extinct, different theories about why the dinosaurs went extinct, and other useful dinosaur extinction facts. We hope the below facts about the extinction of the dinosaurs are helpful and make researching this topic fun, while being educational.
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14 Dinosaur Extinction Facts for Kids
- The extinction of the dinosaurs occurred between 65 and 66 million years ago.
- The extinction event that killed the dinosaurs also caused the sudden mass extinction of 75% of all living plant and animal species.
- The extinction of the dinosaurs is officially known as the Cretaceous–Paleogene (K-Pg) extinction event, or simply the Cretaceous-Tertiary (K-T) extinction.
- The Cretaceous–Paleogene (K–Pg) extinction event marks the end of the Cretaceous period and the Mesozoic Era.
- The Cretaceous–Paleogene (K–Pg) extinction event is widely believed to have been caused by a massive asteroid or comet impact.
- The impact theory is the strongest supported hypotheses for the Cretaceous–Paleogene (K–Pg) extinction event.
- The original theory of an asteroid or comet causing the extinction of the dinosaurs was proposed by Luis Alvarez and his son Walter Alvarez in 1980.
- The evidence used to back up the asteroid impact theory is in the Earth’s geological record. The K-Pg boundary, also called the K-T boundary, is a thin layer of sediment found in the geological record. This thin layer contains high levels of the metal iridium, which is rare in the Earth’s crust, but is very common in asteroids.
- The Chicxulub crater located underneath Chixulub, Mexico on the coast of the Yucatán Peninsula, is believed to be the impact crater left by the asteroid or comet that caused the extinct of the dinosaurs.
- The asteroid or comet was estimated to have been between six and nine miles wide.
- The Deccan Trap hypothesis is an alternate extinction theory. Some scientists think the Deccan Traps flood basalts caused the extinction of the dinosaurs by releasing large amounts of dust, sulfuric aerosols and carbon dioxide into the air. This would have blocked out the sun and hindered plant photosynthesis, ultimately destroying the food chain.
- The multiple impact hypothesis is an alternate extinction theory. Some scientists think the Earth suffered from multiple impact events at the same time. These multiple impacts would have been similar to the impact event that happened to Jupiter in the 1990s with the Shoemaker-Levy 9 comet.
- Some other dinosaur extinction theories include massive volcanic eruptions, climate change, disease or sea level change.
- Ultimately, the extinct of the dinosaurs cleared the way for the evolution of mammals and humans. If the dinosaurs didn’t go extinct about 66 million years ago human may never have evolved.
Dinosaur Extinction Pictures
Additional Resources on the Extinction of the Dinosaurs
- Dinosaur Extinction Facts and Information – Find more facts about the extinction of the dinosaurs on the National Geographic website.
- When and how did dinosaurs go extinct? – An excellent article about the extinct of the dinosaurs on the Popular Science website.
- What Killed The Dinosaurs? – Discover some of the dinosaur extinct theories on the Berkeley DinoBuzz website.