Fossil Discovery Unlocks the Mystery of What Happened the Day the Dinosaurs Died

Have you ever wondered how the dinosaurs vanished from the face of the earth? It remains one of the greatest mysteries of the world. Many theories and ideas have come up to explain their disappearance, but with not much clarity.

However, a recent discovery of certain fossils in North Dakota has shed some light on an event connected to the dinosaurs’ extinction. It has been found that an asteroid hit might have shaken humankind and possibly wiped out the dinosaurs.

What’s the Discovery All About?

A team of paleontologists and geologists have excavated some fossils in North Dakota, which seem to contain traces of various species and fish. This discovery is connected to the asteroid hit at the Yucatán peninsula, which may have ended the Cretaceous period and started the Paleogene period.

When the asteroid called Chicxulub Impactor, the unearthed fish and organisms may have lived in the Western Interior Seaway, situated toward Northern America then. University of Kansas student Robert De Palma, who discovered the fossils, has predicted that gigantic waves formed due to the asteroid hit swept these animals away and sent them to North Dakota. This area is coined Tanis by geologists studying the incident.

tanis fossils 3
Credits: UC Berkley/Robert DePalma

Before this event, all the evidence about the incident was disconnected and unclear. But uncovering the gills of fish and glass droplets within the fossils has enabled De Palma to shed more light on the asteroid theory.

[Read: How Did Cockroaches Survive The Asteroid That Led To The Extinction Of Dinosaurs?]

He states that the high concentration of Iridium found in the fossil block caps also strengthens the theory. It’s because Iridium was the first substance that gave scientists some indications about the Chicxulub event.

How Did the Fossil Look?

According to the geologists, the fossils were unearthed in decent condition, which might be due to less or possibly no scavenger activity on these animals. It is believed that these fossils have been trapped under huge waves and showers of asteroid ash and rocks. Besides, the best part about all this is that the sedimentation might have occurred very quickly.

It’s because the fossils were found to be preserved in three dimensions, where nothing seems to have been crushed, said David Burnham, the author who was covering this discovery.

Moreover, it has been observed that the fossils might contain traces of more than a hundred rare species of animals, making them a vital source of information about the final days of the Cretaceous age. So, scientists, geologists, and paleontologists have more evidence now to dig deeper.


Even if a lot of clarity has been achieved about the dinosaur’s extinction and the subsequent asteroid hit, few questions remain unanswered. Not much evidence has been found about what happened after the asteroid hit, as all evidence talks only about what happened during the incident.

Further, remains of fishes and species have been found along with the fossil, as you now know. But no remains of dinosaurs were uncovered, which remains a mystery.

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