5-speed listening (Dinosaurs - Level 5)

Asteroid rock layers reveal how the dinosaurs died






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Scientists have unearthed details of how the dinosaurs died out 65 million years ago. Geophysicists are analyzing rock formations in a crater under the seabed off Mexico. The rocks were created from the cataclysmic impact of a gigantic asteroid hitting Earth. Scientists say the rock layers reveal a step-by-step account of the destruction that happened after the impact. Rocks and sediment settled on top of each other in revealing layers. A geophysicist said: "It tells us what went on inside the crater on that day of doom that killed the dinosaurs. All of this mayhem is recorded in the core."

Scientists say the asteroid was up to four kilometers wide. It smashed into the ocean and created a hole 160kms wide and 20kms deep. This started a chain reaction of earthquakes, tsunami, landslides and fires that forever changed the geology of Earth. It also killed off the dinosaurs. The asteroid's impact hurled out rocks and created a huge crater. Molten rock fell back into the crater, which was then filled with ocean water. This water was full of soil, vegetation, animal life and other debris. It took a few hours to settle in layers ready for scientists to analyze millions of years later.

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