Asteroid that killed dinosaurs may have given rise to tropical forests

Asteroid that killed dinosaurs may have given rise to Amazon rainforest
Amazon rainforest: Pexels

Scientists made use of fossil pollen and leaves from Colombia to probe changes in South American tropical forests.

A 12km-wide space rock had struck our planet 66 million years ago. It had given rise to the type of vegetation that eventually makes up these forests.

The researchers’ team examined over 50,000 fossil pollen records. They also saw over 6,000 leaf fossils from before and after the impact.

They findings suggest that conifers and ferns were common before this asteroid struck earth. It is now fammous as the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico.

Owing to it’s devastating impact, plant diversity declined. Extinctions were widespread.

Click here to read Science stories

Moreover, the structure of tropical forests also shows changes.

During the period of dinosaurs, the trees that made up the forests were widely-spaced.

But it’s impact left forests with a thick canopy. Therefore, less sunlight reached the ground.

Second- falling ash from the impact enriched soils. Third- the extinction of conifer species gave rise to flowering plants to take over.

ALSO READ: For The First Time, NASA Astronomers Detect X-Rays Emitting From Uranus