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Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction event

Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction event


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Science Photo Library

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Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction event

Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction event. Image 3 of 8. Artwork of an asteroid burning up in a fireball as it passes through the Earths atmosphere. A Quetzalcoatlus pterosaur is seen in the foreground. This is the asteroid that is thought to have caused the extinction of the dinosaurs. The collision took place around 65 million years ago, marking the end of the Cretaceous period and the beginning of the Tertiary period. The impact took place at sea, sending tsunamis (massive waves) around the globe, destroying coastal areas. Water vapour thrown into the atmosphere lowered global temperatures. Plant and then animal life began to die off. The dinosaurs never recovered, and mammals rose to become the dominant form of life. For the sequence, see images E402/173 to E402/180

Science Photo Library features Science and Medical images including photos and illustrations

Media ID 6344123

© RICHARD BIZLEY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Asteroid Asteroid Impact Bolide Burning Catastrophe Chicxulub Asteroid Climatological Climatology Coast Cretaceous Cretaceous Palaeogene Cretaceous Paleogene Cretaceous Tertiary Dinosaur Disintegrating Earth Science End Of The World Fire Ball Flying Impact Impacting K Pg Kt Extinction Event Mass Extinction Event Meteorite Pre Historic Pre History Pterosaur Reptile Series Surface Tertiary Quetzalcoatlus


FEATURES IN THESE COLLECTIONS

> Animals > Extinct > Dinosaurs

> Animals > Mammals > Muridae > Water Mouse

> Arts > Artists > O > Oceanic Oceanic

> Arts > Realistic drawings > Still life artwork > Fine art

> Science Photo Library > Dinosaurs


EDITORS COMMENTS
This print captures the dramatic moment of the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction event, a catastrophic event that forever changed life on Earth. In this artwork, we witness an asteroid hurtling through the Earth's atmosphere, ablaze in a fiery inferno. Standing in stark contrast to this apocalyptic scene is a majestic Quetzalcoatlus pterosaur, its silhouette dominating the foreground. Believed to be responsible for wiping out the dinosaurs, this particular asteroid collided with our planet approximately 65 million years ago. The impact occurred at sea, triggering colossal tsunamis that ravaged coastal areas worldwide. As if these devastating waves weren't enough, vast amounts of water vapor were thrown into the atmosphere during this cataclysmic event. This resulted in a significant drop in global temperatures and set off a chain reaction leading to widespread plant and animal extinction. The dinosaurs never recovered from this calamity; however, it paved the way for mammals to rise as the dominant form of life on Earth. This pivotal moment marked not only the end of the Cretaceous period but also heralded the beginning of the Tertiary period. Through intricate detail and skillful artistry, Science Photo Library brings together history and science in one breathtaking image. It serves as a powerful reminder of nature's immense power and resilience while highlighting humanity's continuous quest for understanding our planet's past and future.

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