This is a contentious scientific field, and the new paper quickly generated pushback from Gerta Keller, a Princeton geologist who has long argued that the end-Cretaceous mass extinction was triggered by volcanism in India - a huge flood of basaltic lava that created a vast geological formation known as the Deccan Traps. Our work corroborated previous evidence that forests were devastated for a period of at least 1,000 years after the asteroid impact. It's likely that smaller ground-dwelling birds experienced a catastrophic loss. Any birds that had to live exclusively in those trees, the authors say, would have gone extinct as well.
For this paper, an global team of scientists used statistical methods to reconstruct the ancient ancestors of living bird groups.
This is because the impact and its after-effects decimated the planet's forests, leading to the extinction of all tree-dwelling birds, according to an global team of researchers.
The ground-dwelling birds that survived would not have had an easy existence. They also reveal that birds surviving the end of the Cretaceous period had long sturdy legs made for living on the ground.
"Today, birds are the most diverse and globally widespread group of terrestrial vertebrate animals-there are almost 11,000 living species", said Field. "Just a handful of ancestral bird family trees was successful in enduring the mass termination occasion 66 million years back, and all these days's remarkable living bird variety can be traced to these ancient survivors". Spores are much smaller than seeds, and they can easily grow in a damp area.
Researcher Regan Dunn, a paleontologist at the Field Museum in Chicago, said in a statement, "After a disaster like a forest fire or a volcanic eruption, the first plants to come back are the fastest colonizers - especially ferns".
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So how long would it take the ferns to thrive?
And even though the asteroid collided with Earth around 66million years ago, the sudden global warming that followed is relevant to what's happening today, experts said.
Studying entire paleoecosystems demonstrates how life in the world has actually developed through all the trials and adversities of the past, Dunn stated in an e-mail.
The dinosaurs were entirely wiped out - except for their descendants, birds, which went on to recover and diversify.
" Human activity is triggering logging on an enormous scale", Field stated. "It's probable that, if this kind of deforestation continues unabated, it will leave an indelible signature on the evolution of birdlife".
"The atmosphere was loaded for a very brief interval of time, and the consequences of that change in atmospheric composition lasted for 100,000 years", MacLeod says. "We need to take these lessons to heart and act now to preserve today's profound biodiversity".