Dinosaurs would still be alive – and humans may have never come into existence – had the asteroid that hit Earth and triggered the mass extinction 66 million years ago, struck some other part of the planet, a study claims.
An asteroid, also known as the Chicxulub Impactor, hit Earth some 66 million years ago, causing a crater 180 kilometre wide.
Researchers said that the probability of the mass- extinction occurring was only 13 per cent. This is because the catastrophic chain of events could only have occurred if the asteroid had hit the hydrocarbon-rich areas occupying about 13 per cent of Earths surface.
Researchers concluded that the significant cooling and mass-extinction event could have only have occurred if the asteroid had hit hydrocarbon-rich areas occupying about 13 per cent of Earths surface.
If the asteroid had hit a low-medium hydrocarbon area on Earth – occupying about 87 per cent of planets surface – mass extinction could not have occurred and the Mesozoic biota could have persisted beyond the Cretaceous/Paleogene boundary. The site of the asteroid impact, therefore, changed the history of life on Earth.