According to recent studies, it is found that the cataclysmic asteroid which struck the earth and was the cause for wiping the species of dinosaurs from the earth gave birth to tropical rainforests.
The research was conducted on 50,000 fossil pollen records and 6,000 leaf fossils to examine the impact of the cataclysmic asteroid that changed South American tropical forests.
The collision had the greatest impact on seed-bearing plants, and many others went extinct as a result. It took nearly six million years for the forest to recover from the damage.
The impact also affected the formation of tropical forests. Before the impact they were broadly separated, the topmost part of trees was not overlapped, hence allowing sun rays to strike the ground.
This was completely different in the post-impact period where they developed a thick canopy that did not allow sunlight to reach the surface.
Three different explanations were proposed by the researchers.
Three potential explanations were suggested based on the study by the researchers for the transformation of dinosaur-era conifer-rich tropical forests into today’s rainforests.
These explanations are as follows,
- The plants on ground level were either consumed or crushed by the dinosaurs resulting in declining the density of forests.
- Another theory is that the preferential extinction of conifer species made room for flowering plants to take over.
- Another potential explanation is that the ash that erupted from inside the earth as a result of the impact was rich in minerals, which gave flowering plants an advantage by enabling them to flourish.
However, researchers suggest that all of the above factors together may have led to the creation of the forests.
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