What was the dinosaur fossil discovery found after an asteroid strike 66 million years ago?
A set of astonishing discoveries have emerged from a BBC documentary fronted by veteran wildlife expert Sir David Attenborough, which will air this month.
Researchers from the United Kingdom have uncovered what is thought to be the fossilised remains of a dinosaur that was killed on the day that an asteroid struck the earth 66 million years ago.
Palaeontologists have been working the site for a decade and recently uncovered a dinosaur leg belonging to a thescelosaurus, a species of small herbivore. The specimen was uncovered at the Tanis fossil site in North Dakota.
The asteroid strike is thought to have been the cause of the mass extinction of dinosaurs and this latest discovery would give an incredible insight into the final hours of their existence.
The Chicxulub asteroid, which was as large as Mount Everest, hit the Gulf of Mexico and caused tremors across the world. The resultant tsunamis, flash floods and atmospheric changes are thought to have been responsible for the mass extinction of countless species.
Astonishing discovery filmed on new BBC show
There are very few examples of dinosaur remains being found that can be dated back to within a few thousand years of the fatal asteroid impact. The fossil found purportedly dates back to the exact moment that the asteroid collided with the planet and could give researchers extraordinary new details about the world shortly before the extinction event.
Veteran wildlife expert and television producer Sir David Attenborough has fronted the BBC’s flagship nature programmes for decades, and the 95-year-old will again be at the forefront of a major piece of TV history.
The discovery at the Tanis fossil site was actually filmed as part of a special documentary that is due to be released later this month, with narration from Attenborough.
The wildlife expert will review the discoveries on the show and reveal the full extent of the new knowledge for the first time. The dinosaur leg which is thought to be the most significant discovery is complete with skin and is said to be in remarkable condition.
Robert DePalma, graduate student from the University of Manchester who leads the Tanis dig, said of the discovery: “We’ve got so many details with this site that tell us what happened moment by moment, it’s almost like watching it play out in the movies. You look at the rock column, you look at the fossils there, and it brings you back to that day.”
Along with the dinosaur limb, there are fish who ingested impact debris that fell from the sky and entered the water and a fragment of the asteroid impactor itself.
To be able to comment you must be registered and logged in. Forgot password?