Until a recent study, scientists have agreed for the longest time that the extinction of the dinosaurs was caused by a catastrophic, mountain sized asteroid hitting the earth. New research published in the science journal “Science” on Thursday, October 1 suggests that the crashing of the asteroid also caused a volcano to erupt in present-day India, assisting in the destruction of the dinosaurs and seventy percent of Earth’s species at the time.
The dating of formations along the sight of the eruption suggests that the volcano was active and erupting even before the impact of the comet, which greatly increased the intensity of the eruptions. This would suggest that the active volcano would have killed off the dinosaurs and the other thousands of species even if the asteroid hadn’t hit Earth sixty-six million years ago, something scientists had not considered until now.
According to Berkley geologist Mark Richards, “major gaps remain in the data, but these events could have been exactly at the same time.” Before findings regarding the fatal asteroid surfaced in the 1980s, many scientists believed that the extinction was caused by a volcanic eruption. After a discovery by the father-son team of Luis and Walter Alvarez, most concluded that the dinosaurs’ extinction was caused by an asteroid crashing into the Earth. According to CNN and “Science,” this new research shows that not only are both parties potentially right about their hypotheses regarding the asteroid and the volcano, but the relationship between both natural disasters could be causal.