Experts are aware that a diverse range of dinosaurs coexisted on Earth during the close of the Cretaceous era, prior to their extinction. But some have a difference of opinion on whether dinosaurs were at their peak population or in the midst of decline when they died out.
Scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology postulate that dinosaur diversity was not particularly high prior to their demise and that it had generally decreased throughout the end of the Cretaceous period.
“Based on figures from the Shanyang Basin, there was a proven drop in the variety of dinosaur species. “
North America is currently the main source of information regarding the time leading up to the extinction of the dinosaurs. Researchers focused on whether the pattern of falling numbers also affected Asia, looking specifically into China.
The study included more than 1,000 preserved dinosaur eggs and eggshells, which enabled experts to precisely date the rock strata. In order to draw comparisons between their findings and those from other parts of the planet, a chronology was constructed spanning the last 2 million years of the Cretaceous period.
Based on figures from the Shanyang Basin, there was a proven drop in the variety of dinosaur species.
The documented worldwide temperature variations and the large volcanic eruptions that occurred at the end of the Cretaceous Period are likely to have contributed to the continuous reduction in dinosaur species. As a result, dinosaurs that couldn’t fly were the most at risk of going extinct in large numbers at the same time as the infamous asteroid hit.
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