The Straits Times
Published on Feb 08, 2013

Asteroid strike did in the dinosaurs: Study


WASHINGTON (AFP) - Scientists said on Thursday they are a step closer to proving the death blow for dinosaurs 66 million years ago was a gigantic comet or asteroid that struck near Mexico.

Although a catastrophic impact has long been thought to be involved earlier work left doubts about just when the object, estimated at some 10km in diameter, struck in relation to when dinosaurs disappeared.

But in a study out on Thursday in the United States journal Science, researchers used updated techniques to get a more precise date for the impact - 66,038,000 million years ago - which they said was accurate within 11,000 years.

"When I got started in the field, the error bars on these events were plus or minus a million years," said paleontologist William Clemens, a University of California (UC), Berkeley, professor emeritus who was not directly involved in the study.