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If No Impact, Dinosaurs Would Have Frozen

Poor dinosaurs?their time really was up. Scientists now think that cold was killing them off long before that asteroid wiped them out 65 million years ago. Half of all dinosaurs were gone by then and the impact was just the final straw.

Fossil evidence from the Drumheller valley in Alberta, Canada, laid down 7 million years before the asteroid hit, shows that average temperatures had dropped enough to kill off cold-blooded reptiles such as crocodiles, turtles and dinosaurs. Oxygen isotope readings from fossils show the temperatures at which they formed, so scientists can track climate change over time.

Dr Angela Milner, of the Natural History Museum of Australia, says cold-blooded dinosaurs could have tolerated a colder climate for a short time because their size meant they could keep their body temperature constant, but they couldn?t have survived for long. Milner says, "In popular perception, dinosaurs died out because of the asteroid. But the actual evidence from the fossils doesn't support that in the way some people like to think. But [the cold] may well have been the final straw that broke the remaining camels' backs."

The location of Atlantis is another myth that scientists have been chasing for years. Read the extraordinary conclusions of Ivar Zapp and George Erikson in ?Atlantis in America,? click here.

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