The Volcanoes that Killed the Dinosaurs

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“...99.9 per cent of all [species] that have ever existed are now extinct.” (Benton 1) After one hundred and sixty million years of domination, the reign of the dinosaurs ended in fire and ice. Sixty five million years ago, the largest volcanoes in the history of the Earth erupted across what is now India, effectively annihilating the dinosaurs by spewing out noxious gas and ash, that effectively blocked out the sun killing off most vegetation and breaking the food chain, leaving the dinosaurs to starve. Compared to other groups of animals the dinosaurs were the most vulnerable to such a climatic event and the result was the end of the dinosaurs’ glorious evolutionary history. What is a Dinosaur? The main group of animals that went extinct during this time, leaving smaller reptiles, birds, and mammals, were the dinosaurs. Dinosaurs dominated the land and ranged from being smaller than a rooster, to being greater than the size of fifteen adult elephants. There were herbivores, carnivores, insectivores, omnivores, and detritivores. Herbivores would often live in herds, like deer or cows. Large carnivores, like the tyrannosaurs were usually solitary hunters and smaller carnivores, like the raptors --Creatures around the size of a person, with razor sharp teeth, slashing claws, and large brains, Would hunt in sophisticated packs. One of the dinosaurs defining characteristics was that they took time to take care of their young, protecting them from predators and making sure they got enough food to eat; this differs from most reptiles (Digging into Dinosaurs 4-5). For example today’s largest lizard, the komodo dragon, will eat its own young if the young do not get away, so they have to hide up in the trees. Dinosaurs were not even buil... ... middle of paper ... ...ences Of The United States Of America 101.11 (2004): 3753-3758. Academic Search Premier. Web. 13 Jan. 2014. "What Makes A Dinosaur A Dinosaur?." Digging Into Dinosaurs (2005): 4. MasterFILE Premier. Web. 13 Jan. 2014. "Evidence For Warm-Blooded Dinosaurs." Science & Children 51.1 (2013): 19-20. Education Research Complete. Web. 13 Jan. 2014. Knapp, Alex. "Asteroid Impact Was The Coup De Grace For Dinosaurs." Forbes.Com (2013): 2. Business Source Premier. Web. 13 Jan. 2014. BENTON, MICHAEL J. "Mass Extinctions." New Scientist 209.2802 (2011): i-viii. Academic Search Premier. Web. 13 Jan. 2014. N.A. "Virus, not asteroid or volcano, may have doomed dinosaurs." USA Today n.d.: Academic Search Premier. Web. 13 Jan. 2014. Weisburd, Stefi. "Volcanoes And Extinctions: Round Two." Science News 131.16 (1987): 248-250. Health Source - Consumer Edition. Web. 13 Jan. 2014.

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