Click on image for full size
Leaves As Old As Dinosaurs!
News story originally written on April 16, 2003
Wonder why you never see a dinosaur in your yard?
Well, they are extinct of course! So, there are no more of them living on Earth.
Dinosaurs became extinct 65 million years ago. They were not the only living things to die out at that time. Many other animals became extinct too. Now scientists have found that many ancient plants also became extinct just like the dinosaurs did. They found that only a small number from their study area survived.
The scientists looked at thousands of fossil leaves! As they looked at the leaves, they noticed that insects had munched some of them. At the time of the dinosaurs, the insects had nibbled at the ancient leaves, just like insects do today. Some insects nibble the edges of leaves. Other drill holes in the middle. Many of the insects that ate the plants also became extinct.
The plants and animals may have died because of a big change in climate that happened after a giant asteroid hit the Earth. Today, our climate is changing very quickly too. The scientists hope that learning about the past can help us understand how climate change will affect plants and animals in the future.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Learn about Earth and space science, and have fun while doing it! The games
section of our online store
includes a climate change card game
and the Traveling Nitrogen game
You might also be interested in:
Scientists have been studying special places of the chilly ocean near Antarctica. They found that these places are favorite spots for thousands of penguins! Much of the ocean near Antarctica is covered...more
Mount St. Helens, a volcano on the west coast of the United States, has been quiet for 18 years. But in the last week it has not been quiet at all! It has been puffing steam and ash and a flow of lava...more
Wonder why you never see a dinosaur in your yard? Well, they are extinct of course! So, there are no more of them living on Earth. Dinosaurs became extinct 65 million years ago. They were not the only...more
A large meteor exploded in the sky near Chicago shortly after midnight on March 28, 2003. People in Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio saw the meteor break apart as it flew across the sky. Many pieces...more
Look at this picture! The light blue parts are coral reefs just under the water’s surface. How many reefs do you see? The crew of the International Space Station (ISS) took this picture while looking...more
There will be an eclipse of the Moon on Thursday night, May 15, 2003. The shadow of the Earth will fall on the Moon, and the Moon will get dark! The Moon will not be so dark that you can't see it. The...more
Figuring out what tomorrow's weather will be can be a tough job. But now scientists have made a new tool that will make it easier. It looks at the weather from above! The tool is orbiting Earth aboard...more