A mysterious crater in Ukraine could explain the end of the dinosaurs

Boltysh is not to be confused with the more devastating meteorite that crashed south of the Yucatán: a crater in Ukraine could explain the end of the dinosaurs.

Sixty-five million years ago, a gigantic rock from the depths of the galaxy caused the extinction of those large, reptilian-looking monsters we know as dinosaurs. As much as the imagination of writers and filmmakers has been exercised on a possible return to life of dinosaurs, through DNA contained in mosquitoes, for the moment, we can not make any illusion: those fascinating and inconceivable beings remain confined in the eons of time and knowable in the form of bones, footprints and little more (although there are those who say that building Jurassic Park in the real world is possible).

On the impact that has upset the climate, triggering the evolution of life on Earth, scientists still argue. And at the center of that debate has ended up a crater in Ukraine called Boltysh.

What does Boltysh have to do with the dinosaur extinction

Here's the first thing to make clear is that it's not the primary cause of the dinosaur extinction. In that case, all eyes are on Chicxulub, south of the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico. It is in this area of the planet that a more voluminous meteorite hit the surface and triggered the catastrophe also climatic.

But, until recently, the analysis of the researchers also focused on Boltysh, located on a timeline not far from Chicxulub and put in relation with the first and most violent explosion: for those who were interested, in fact, the hypothesis of a combined effect of the upheavals caused by Boltysh and Chicxulub had determined the extinction of the super reptiles.

What the last searches say

Recent deepenings, published on Science Advances in the month of June, instead date the European crater half million years (for the precision 650 thousand) after the Mexican crater. The verifications have been made on the residuals buried under 300 meters of sediments, that have slowly filled the hole left by the asteroid.

Boltysh could have had a role, in the extinction. But not as a cause directly related to the disappearance of some species of life. Rather as an event that prevented a possible recovery of the existence, on the razor's edge, of the species that then actually died. We will never know how it would have gone without Boltysh, in the doubt it is worth thinking that, perhaps, if we are here, it is also thanks to the Ukrainian meteorite.

About prehistoric findings, in Italy the Neanderthal man has been discovered.

Giuseppe Giordano