According to experts, a perfectly preserved dinosaur leg discovered in North Dakota may be a remnant from the day a giant asteroid fell into Earth, bringing the period of nonavian dinosaurs to a conclusion. However, not all specialists are satisfied that the dinosaur perished on that tragic day 66 million years ago or, at the very minimum, they are deferring judgment until additional data is provided for analysis. According to BBC News, a team led by Robert DePalma, a doctorate student at the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom, discovered the petrified leg, that still has flesh affixed, and proposed that the dinosaur perished and was buried during the historic asteroid strike. A peer-reviewed scientific journal has not yet published a description of the species.
The finding is so unlikely and historically interesting that University of Manchester professor of natural history Phillip Manning described it as “absolutely insane.” They also believe they have discovered a little portion of the space rock that terminated the dinosaur period and paved the way for the advent of mammals. The finds, reported by University of Manchester paleontologist Robert DePalma, might give the first concrete proof that dinosaurs were destroyed by an asteroid collision at the end of the Cretaceous Period. There have been very few dinosaur bones discovered in strata dating back many thousand years before the collision, so finding a fossil from the day of devastation itself would be exceptional.
‘This is the most spectacular thing we could ever imagine here, the best possible outcome… the one thing we’ve always hoped to discover in this site, and here we’ve found it,’ DePalma told the BBC. ‘This appears to be an animal whose leg was simply taken off very rapidly.’ There is no indication of sickness on the limb, no visible pathologies, and no evidence of the leg being foraged, such as claw marks or broken pieces. So, the best guess we have is that this is an animal that died more or less recently. “A dinosaur casualty of an asteroid attack has never been found before,” the broadcaster said. The asteroid’s collision generated vibrations, which caused tsunamis and flash floods that carried countless animals and plants over thousands of kilometers. In addition to the preserved leg, the scientists also uncovered fish that breathed in impact debris as it falls out of the sky.