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'It wasn't simply this meteorite impact': McGill research suggests dinosaurs dealt with climate change

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Hundreds of millions of years ago, dinosaurs roamed and ruled the earth -- until a meteorite struck and wiped them out.

But new evidence from McGill University suggests dinosaurs were already dying off due to climate change caused by massive volcanic eruptions.

"Some of these lava flows from these volcanos in India were a 1,000 km long and tens to hundreds of metres high, something the human race has never seen," Don Baker, co-author of the study and a professor of geochemistry at McGill, told CTV News.

Baker says eruptions would lead to a drop in temperatures, causing dinosaurs to feel the effects of climate change.

"We hypothesize that we had a series of global cooling events and these events changed the environment so much that it made life, particularly life for dinosaurs, much more difficult," Baker said.

Baker and a team of researchers from around the world studied rocks from India that date back to dinosaur extinction.

"We could link the sulphur put out by these volcanos to the change in climate," Baker explained.

He said the rocks tell a story.

"What I'm hoping it will have is that it will make people more aware of the fact that climate change played an important role in the extinction of dinosaurs," Baker said. "It wasn't simply this meteorite impact." 

The study was published in the journal Science Advances

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