North Dakota fossil site may be ‘most sensational’ glimpse of final minutes of dinosaur reign

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study birds had to relearn flight after meteor wiped out dinosaurs

Sixty-six million years ago, an immense asteroid smacked into what is now the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico, triggering global devastation and the world’s fifth mass extinction.

Now a fossil site in North Dakota is causing a new stir, said to document the last minutes and hours of the dinosaurian reign.

Many paleontologists were quick to raise an eyebrow at the findings presented in the New Yorker, however, particularly because some of the claims in the article are not mentioned in a scientific paper about the site. …

“Unfortunately, many interesting aspects of this study appear only in the New Yorker article and not in the scientific paper,” says Kirk Johnson, director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History.

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…Despite the controversy over how claims of the site hit mass media before the peer-reviewed science paper was available, outside experts note that Tanis truly does seem to be an exceptional spot. “This isn’t the only site that preserves fossils at the K/Pg boundary, but it seems this might be the most sensational one ever discovered,” says Shaena Montanari, a paleontologist and AAAS science and technology policy fellow.

<Read full, original post: Fossil Site May Capture the Dinosaur-Killing Impact, but It’s Only the Beginning of the Story

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