RICHARD BIZLEY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY RICHARD BIZLEY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction event. Image 7 of 8. Artwork of ejecta (molten rock) raining back down on the Earth following an asteroid impact. This is the asteroid impact 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, but the force of the impact ejected molten rock into space and back down onto the Earth, causing forest fires around the globe. 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.
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