Fossil Shows Meteor Wiped Out Dinosaurs

How a single horn could cement a theory
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 13, 2011 1:30 PM CDT
A photographer is dwarfed by a replica of the full-length skeleton of Triceratops during a press preview at the National Science Museum in Tokyo Friday, July 1, 2011.   (AP Photo/Shuji Kajiyama)

(Newser) – It’s just one horn, not quite a foot and a half long, but scientists say a newly discovered fossil could clinch the theory that a falling asteroid wiped out the dinosaurs. Skeptics of the scenario have always pointed out that we’ve found no dinosaur fossils dated within the 3 million years before the meteor hit, the Telegraph explains. Until now, that is.

Because that single horn, which might have belonged to a Triceratops or a related species, was found just inches below the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary at which dinosaurs vanish from the fossil record. That indicates that dinosaurs existed right up until the end of the Cretaceous, supporting the idea that they died suddenly—and closing the so-called “3 million gap.” (Read more dinosaurs stories.)

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