“People have said, ‘We get that this blast killed the dinosaurs, but why don’t we have dead bodies everywhere? They’re not dinosaurs, but I think those will eventually be found, too.” De Palma said his find provides spectacular new detail to what is perhaps the most important event to ever affect life on Earth.
“It’s difficult not to get choked up and passionate about this topic,” he said.
“It’s like an avalanche that collapses almost like a liquid, then sets like concrete.
They were killed pretty suddenly because of the violence of that water.
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Previous college-level coursework and/or other significant preparation in environmental studies, ecology, biology, sociology, anthropology, international relations, or related fields, as assessed by SIT.We have one fish that hit a tree and was broken in half.” Indeed, the Tanis site contains many hundreds of articulated ancient fossil fish killed by the Chicxulub impact’s aftereffects and is remarkable for the biodiversity it reveals alone.“At least several appear to be new species, and the others are the best examples known of their kind,” De Palma said.“We look at moment-by-moment records of one of the most notable impact events in Earth’s history. And this particular event is tied directly to all of us — to every mammal on Earth, in fact.Because this is essentially where we inherited the planet. It became a planet of mammals rather than a planet of dinosaurs.When we noticed asteroid impact debris within the sediment and a compact layer of KT boundary clay resting on top of it from the long-term fallout, we realized that this unusual site was right the KT boundary.” According to Burnham, the fossil trove fills a void in scientific knowledge with vivid new detail.“We’ve understood that bad things happened right after the impact, but nobody’s found this kind of smoking-gun evidence,” he said.“Timing of the incoming ejecta spherules matched the calculated arrival times of seismic waves from the impact, suggesting that the impact could very well have triggered the surge.” De Palma, who discovered the fossil mother lode, said the find outlines how the impact could have devastated areas very far from the crater quite rapidly.“A tsunami would have taken at least 17 or more hours to reach the site from the crater, but seismic waves — and a subsequent surge — would have reached it in tens of minutes,” he said."As human beings, we descended from a lineage that literally survived in the ashes of what was once the glorious kingdom of the dinosaurs.And we’re the only species on the planet that has ever been capable of learning from such an event to the benefit of ourselves and every other organism in our world.” At KU, De Palma and Burnham worked with Loren Gurche of the Biodiversity Institute.