Apr 2, 2021

Dinosaur-killing asteroid strike gave rise to Amazon rainforest

Researchers used fossil pollen and leaves from Colombia to investigate how the impact changed South American tropical forests. While the forests recovered over the next six million years, angiosperms, or flowering plants, came to dominate the forests. During the late Cretaceous Period, when the dinosaurs were still alive, the trees that made up the forests were widely-spaced. So how did the impact transform the sparse, conifer-rich tropical forests of the dinosaur age into the rainforests of today, with their towering trees dotted with multi-coloured blossoms and orchids? Firstly, dinosaurs could have kept the forest from growing too dense by feeding on and trampling plants growing in the lower levels of the forest.

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