A recent study has explained that the dinosaurs, because of their total supremacy on the planet, in fact would have signed their own death warrant ever before the famous giant asteroid decimated them. So how was this possible?
In a study that appeared in the scientific journal Nature Ecology & Evolution and published on the 5th February 2018, researchers in Reading University (United Kingdom) retraced the steps of the dinosaurs on earth. It seems that the dinosaurs’ behaviour was driving them straight for decline well before the asteroid caused their complete annihilation.
The scientists came to understand that the dinosaurs had colonised almost the entire surface of the planet and were beginning to lack space. Doctor Chris Venditti, co-author of the study, cites a sudden and rapid migration to diverse areas of the planet.
According to the research, the dinosaurs would have benefited from the Permian extinction that preceded them, which occurred about 252 million years ago and marked by the disappearance of 95% of the marine species and 70% of the species living on land. The dinosaurs would then have had free reign to inhabit numerous areas, without having to compete with other species, but this only lasted a while.
“”They’d filled the Earth, there was nowhere to move to and they were really specialised in their habitat so they couldn’t produce new species… It would have been the final nail in the coffin for them apart from the birds”, explains Dr. Ciara O’Donovan, another co-author of the study.
On the other hand, this theory is not shared by all researchers. In fact, David Martill, a professor of paleobiology in the University of Portsmouth, estimates that “dinosaurs were… still diversifying at the end of the Cretaceous just before the meteorite impact hit”. Equally, a hypothesis dating from January 2017 proposes that the hatching time needed for dinosaur eggs would have been another factor in their extinction.