Dinosaurs were wiped off from map by the impact of a large asteroid 65 million years ago. Humans probably never would have evolved if that strategy never happened.
Also if the impact of the asteroid had occurred some millions of years before or after, the huge prehistoric animals could have survived, says Steve Brusatte, a University of Edinburgh.
According to him, the dinosaurs had “a colossal bad luck”. “It was a perfect storm of events that occurred when dinosaurs were at their most vulnerable,” Dr Brusatte told BBC News.
According to the study published in the journal Biological Reviews , there is evidence that some species were becoming extinct shortly before the asteroid hit the Earth, affected by rising sea levels and volcanic activity.
One of the crucial questions is, then, whether this gradual decline would have ended anyway with large animals even though the car had not fallen.
Experts concluded that although some species of herbivores in North America were becoming extinct in the period before the fall of the asteroid, there is no evidence of long-term decline.
However, scientists believe that rising sea levels and more intense volcanic activity had made many species more vulnerable to extinction just as it impacted the asteroid.
They or us?
Brusatte believes that if the asteroid had fallen a few million years sooner or later, dinosaurs would be roaming the world today.
“Five million years ago the dinosaur ecosystems were stronger, they were more diverse, the base of the food chain was more robust and it was harder to leave a lot of species out of the way,” said the researcher.
“If they had had a few million years to regain their diversity they would have had a better chance of surviving the asteroid’s impact.”
“Dinosaurs lived for 160 million years, they had many ups and downs in their diversity, but they always recovered.” And it was precisely their end that allowed mammals like our own species to diversify and evolve.
According to Brusatte, “With the exception that we would not be here because mammals would not have had the opportunity to develop,”