66 million years ago a deadly asteroid struck Earth. Scientists just found a fish killed by the impact

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4-2-2019 asteroid impact
Image: NASA/Don Davis

At one of the most important ancient graveyards on Earth in North Dakota, paleontologists unearthed the fossilized remains of fish seemingly killed by the effects of the asteroid that ended the Cretaceous.

We know that a large asteroid struck the Earth 66 million years ago, and around the same time, the dinosaurs went extinct. We’re not completely sure whether the asteroid was solely responsible for the mass extinction, but you might ask, “Shouldn’t we see remnants of animals killed by the asteroid’s effects?” Well, now we have found some.

[L]odged inside the fossilized paddlefish’s gills were more of the glass spherules. It appeared that waves containing shocked glass from the impact over 3,050 kilometers (1,895 miles) away had inundated the area, and in their dying breaths, the fish had inhaled some of them.

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It’s amazing to imagine how abruptly life on Earth changed in the hours and days after the Chicxulub asteroid hit. And it’s equally amazing that we could find direct evidence from that time locked away in the remains of the creatures who experienced it.

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Plaster cast of a Tanis deposit fossil showing a freshwater fish (dark brown) next to a marine ammonite (iridescence at top left). Image: DePalma et al/PNAS

Read full, original post: Scientists Find Fossilized Fish That May Have Been Blasted by Debris From Asteroid That Ended the Dinosaur Age

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