Did Volcanoes Drive Dinos to Extinction?
Scientists question 30-year-old crater theory
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted Dec 17, 2008 2:51 PM CST
Geologist Winston Seiler poses next a trackway, or set of prints made by the same dinosaur near the Utah-Arizona border. A new theory suggests volcanoes killed the dinosaurs.   (AP Photo/University of Utah, Nicole Miller)
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(Newser) – Colossal, repeated volcanic eruptions in India 65 million years ago released sulfuric gases that sent the dinosaurs, well, the way of the dinosaurs, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. A group of scientists at a Bay Area conference this week is questioning the decades-held theory that a meteor killed off dinosaurs. Crater theory proponents, meanwhile, say the Deccan volcanoes may have had an "interesting contributory role," but weren't the prime cause of extinction.

Lava-covered dinosaur eggs in the Deccan area boost the new theory being considered by the 14,000-scientist gathering. The greenhouse extinction possibility has been been "vastly underestimated" and the crater theory hastily accepted, the lead author says. She age-dated minerals presumably from the Chicxulub crater that suggest the meteorite hit 300,000 years before dinosaurs died off.