MARK GARLICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARK GARLICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Extinction of the dinosaurs. Computer artwork of a group of dinosaurs and flying reptiles fleeing a vast fire. This may have been caused by a volcanic eruption or meteorite impact. Such events have occurred before in Earth's history, and will do so again. Both events can trigger a lowering of global temperatures as clouds of dust and ash reduce the amount of sunlight reaching the surface. Plant and then animal life dies off. The mass loss of life that included the extinction of the dinosaurs took place some 65 million years ago at the end of the Cretaceous period. The flying reptiles here are Pteranodons, and the quadraped dinosaur are sauropods called Titanosaurs.
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