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Publication History


A hundred and sixty million years of dinosaur evolution produced some of the most wonderful and terrifying beasts that ever lived. Tyrannosaurus rex was a seven-ton carnivore that grew to a length of over forty feet. Yet for all its size and ferocity, Tyrannosaurus rex suddenly vanished with the rest of the dinosaurs in a geologic instant. A devastating asteroid impact at the end of the Cretaceous period may have contributed to the mass extinction of Earth's most famous creatures.

For many years it was believed all of the dinosaurs perished at the end of the Cretaceous period 65 million years ago. However, recent discoveries indicate that a few dinosaurs may have survived for another million years beyond the end of the Cretaceous. That would make them the first known Cenozoic era dinosaurs.

Extinction of the Dinosaurs

Time of Event: End of Cretaceous period (65 million years ago)

Major Asteroid Impact Sites that are 65 Million Years Old:

Chicxulub Crater
Place: village of Chicxulub, northern shore of Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico
Crater Size: about 180 kilometers wide
Asteroid Diameter: about 10 kilometers

Shiva Crater
Place: Arabian Sea off Bombay, western shore of India
Crater Size: about 600 kilometers long, 450 kilometers wide, 12 kilometers deep
Asteroid Diameter: about 40 kilometers

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