Do you know how the dinosaurs died? Sure you do.
About 66 million years ago, a giant asteroid whacked into the planet and set off a terrible series of events that led to the extinction of most of the animals on Earth. Including the dinosaurs.
Okay, to be clear, we're not arguing with this. We have a massive 150-kilometre (93-mile) wide crater where the asteroid hit near Chicxulub, Mexico. And there are mineral deposits around the world that confirm that a catastrophic event occurred at this time in history.
But there's still something missing. A bunch of fossils buried in these deposits.
A group of paleontologists from the University of Kansas and University of Manchester have discovered an eye-opening collection of fossils in North Dakota. As team member Robert DePalma described it to CNN, it was "a tangled mass of freshwater fish, terrestrial vertebrates, trees, branches, logs, marine ammonites and other marine creatures."
The remains indicate that these animals and plants all died quickly during a sudden catastrophe. Most importantly, they are all buried within a layer of sediment that matches what would've been sent into the air by the impact of a massive asteroid — an enormous hail storm of fine sand and natural glass beads called tektites.
It appears that this is finally what we've been searching for. Fossils + asteroid debris = proof of how the dinosaurs died!
But...where are the dinosaurs?
The only catch is that there still aren't a lot of dinosaur fossils mixed up in this. (Really? Ah, come on!)
The paleontologists have so far found just a single dino hip bone in this mix. For this reason, experts around the world are trying not to get too excited. No one is saying that this isn't a spectacular find. And it is the best evidence we've seen so far of a link between the asteroid and mass extinction 66 million years ago. But we still need more dinosaurs in the mix to call it proof.
But the team behind this discovery believes that proof is just around the corner.
“They’re not dinosaurs," admitted study co-author David Burnham in a statement, "but I think those will eventually be found, too.”
We would tend to agree. Why? Just take a look at this video of the fossil site. It's huge! They might take a while to find, but we're sure that there are some dinosaurs in there somewhere!