What killed the dinosaurs? Where is Chicxulub crater in Gulf of Mexico - did second asteroid hit near Guinea

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A replica of the world’s largest dinosaur is set to be put on display at London’s Natural History Museum

Throughout history scientists have often discussed and put forward several theories as to what killed the dinosaurs.

Prior to human existence, dinosaurs were the main rulers of our planet and walked the Earth for over 165 million years.

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However, they were wiped out suddenly in a mass extinction event 66 million years ago.

Most scientists believe that an asteroid strike sparked the mass extinction event at Chicxulub in Mexico.

Now, scientists have recently discovered a second impact crater in West Africa, leading to speculation it is linked to the extinction of the dinosaurs.

A replica of the world’s largest dinosaur - Patagotitan - is set to be put on display at London’s Natural History Museum, bringing more interest around the topic.

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What killed the dinosaurs?

Scientists believe that an asteroid the size of Mount Everest collided with Earth 66 million years ago, at a point now known as the Chicxulub crater.

The asteroid crashed into the Earth at a speed of 40,000 miles per hour and created a crater more than 115 miles, destroying everything in its path.

The dinosaurs were wiped out in a mass extinction event 66 million years ago. (Getty Images)The dinosaurs were wiped out in a mass extinction event 66 million years ago. (Getty Images)
The dinosaurs were wiped out in a mass extinction event 66 million years ago. (Getty Images) | Getty Images

Experts have described it as being the equivalent of millions of nuclear bombs being released simulataneously.

The devastation killed many living creatures and acted as a catalyst for a series of events which would cause widespread extinction.

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Ash, smoke and debris spread across the planet, temperatures dropped to extreme lows and food became extremely scarce.

The resulting darkness created from the event is likely to have lasted for several months or potentially several years.

Where is Chicxulub crater located?

The Chicxulub crater is one of the largest confirmed impact structures on Earth.

It is located underneath the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. The site lies next to the coast of Mexico near the city of Merida.

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Did a second asteroid hit near Guinea?

The Nadir Crater was found in the Atlantic Ocean, 248 miles off the coast of Guinea in west Africa.

It is around 1,000ft beneath the sea and has a diameter of around 5.2 miles.

The impact site is not as large as the Chicxulub crater in Mexico but scientists do believe that it is of a similar age and are investigating it closely to see if the Earth was hit by more than one space rock during the catastrophic extinction event.

What species survived the mass extinction event?

Very few animals are believed to have survived the mass extinction but some animals such as crocodiles were able to prevail through the asteroid impact.

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Crocodiles are believed to have survived the asteroid due to their diverse diet, they were also safer from the impact as they lived in the water.

Cockroaches were another example of an animal that was able to survive the asteroid. Cockroaches are known to be one of the most resilient creatures on the planet. Cockroaches are able to survive without food for over a month and are able to survive for a week without water.

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