Ascent of Dinosaurs Linked to an Iridium Anomaly at the Triassic-Jurassic Boundary
- Ascent of Dinosaurs Linked to an Iridium Anomaly at the Triassic-Jurassic Boundary
- Olsen, Paul E.
Kent, Dennis V.
Rainforth, Emma C.
Fowell, Sarah J.
Szajna, Michael J.
Hartline, Brian W.
- Earth and Environmental Sciences
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
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- Analysis of tetrapod footprints and skeletal material from more than 70 localities in eastern North America shows that large theropod dinosaurs appeared less than 10,000 years after the Triassic-Jurassic boundary and less than 30,000 years after the last Triassic taxa, synchronous with a terrestrial mass extinction. This extraordinary turnover is associated with an iridium anomaly (up to 285 parts per trillion, with an average maximum of 141 parts per trillion) and a fern spore spike, suggesting that a bolide impact was the cause. Eastern North American dinosaurian diversity reached a stable maximum less than 100,000 years after the boundary, marking the establishment of dinosaur-dominated communities that prevailed for the next 135 million years.
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- Paul E. Olsen, Dennis V. Kent, Alessandro Montanari, Emma C. Rainforth, Heinz Huber, Sarah J. Fowell, Hans-Dieter Sues, Christian Koeberl, Michael J. Szajna, Brian W. Hartline, 2002, Ascent of Dinosaurs Linked to an Iridium Anomaly at the Triassic-Jurassic Boundary, Columbia University Academic Commons, http://hdl.handle.net/10022/AC:P:11963.