Scientists say they found a perfectly preserved fossil of a dinosaur that died the *exact* day the asteroid wiped them all out.
Remains of a thescelosaurus neglectus found in the United States earlier this year, which includes the creature’s literal skin, have been dated back precisely to the time the asteroid struck Earth 66 million years ago.
Experts said they were able to determine this because of the presence of debris on the dinosaur fossil that rained down after the asteroid’s impact.
Wow, we love to be reminded of our insignificance. I can feel my anxiety fog lifting already.
Only the dinosaur’s leg was found, but professor of natural history at the University of Manchester Phillip Manning, who was at the dig site in north Dakota, said it was the “ultimate dinosaur drumstick”.
“The time resolution we can achieve at this site is beyond our wildest dreams … this really should not exist and it’s absolutely gobsmackingly beautiful,” Manning said.
“I never dreamt in all my career that I would get to look at something a) so time-constrained and b) so beautiful, and also tells such a wonderful story.”
The dinosaur fossil was uncovered on camera as part of Sir David Attenborough’s latest BBC documentary Dinosaurs: The Final Day.
Attenborough called it an “impossible fossil” when he first saw it and we could not agree more. Mind still blown.
The researcher leading the dig Robert DePalma said the amount of detail on the dinosaur fossil was astonishing and meant scientists could date the remains more accurately than carbon dating technology alone could.
“We’ve got so many details with this site that tell us what happened moment by moment, it’s almost like watching it play out in the movies. You look at the rock column, you look at the fossils there, and it brings you back to that day,” he said.
The same researchers said earlier this year the dig had revealed the asteroid hit Mexico during spring.
This is not a plug but I cannot wait for this doco.
Nothing like a little dino news to make you feel insignificant and at peace with your silly little life.