If you had a keen interest and have read about dinosaurs, then you probably know that a double asteroid collision caused the end of the entire and diverse species of reptiles. But a recent study denies the findings to state that it was some poisonous flowering plants which caused the end of the giant lizards. Their decline started since they were not able to distinguish between the toxic and non-toxic plants and kept eating them.
The study was published in the journal Ideas in Ecology and Evolution traces back to the fossil of poisonous species which was found around the same time the decline of dinosaurs began and it was also before the asteroid crash. The previous studies mention that it was not one but two deadly space rocks which crashed onto the surface near Chicxulub in Mexico which were the major trouble for dinosaurs.
In this recent study, University of Albany professor, evolutionary psychologist and co-author Gordon Gallup talks how the dinosaurs were comparatively slow in recognising a particular taste. They kept munching on certain plants despite gastrointestinal distress, not realising the danger ahead. However, they do not deny that asteroid crash did play an important factor in their end. Rare Dinosaur Footprint in Scotland Gives Clues to a Lost Era of the Middle Jurassic Period
Gallup along with his former student Michael J. Frederick also studied whether birds and crocodiles while are believed to be the descendants of dinosaurs develop the aversion to taste of toxic substances. Well, birds do manage to figure out the toxic flowers. Today most animals have the ability to develop taste and figure well what to avoid which is bad for their health. Dinosaurs were not able to create this very differentiation which eventually resulted in their end. Who would have thought flowering plants could play a larger role in eliminating the bigger species, which we have seen and admired only in movies and cartoons!