New research suggests that the strike probably took place in springtime – and the timing may have made more species extinct. Three-quarters of Earth’s species were destroyed after the asteroid smashed into modern-day Mexico. Scientists now reckon the event took place during the northern hemisphere’s spring. They say that made many animals to the north of the equator more vulnerable to the heatwave caused by the impact. Certain mammals, birds and plants might have survived if the asteroid had crashed at a different time of year.
The extreme heatwave caused by the strike affected the whole planet. It wiped out many animals, and temperatures later dropped dramatically, The study was led by Uppsala University in Sweden. Melanie During, who worked on the research, said: “In spring, you expect animals to be tending to their offspring, which are very fragile, or perhaps they are still tending to eggs, waiting for them to hatch or be looking for food. That puts them in a vulnerable position.”