Some scientists believe that 65 million years ago an asteroid struck what is now the Yucatán Peninsula, thereby causi...

jing jing on April 1, 2020

Hi couuld somebody explain why this is the right answer?

Hi couuld somebody explain why this is the right answer? I picked the choice dinosaurs are hit by the meteorite since the meteorite was large enough to kil dinosaurs. Why is my answer choice wrong? Thank you

1 Reply

Skylar on April 12, 2020, happy to help!

We are asked to resolve the discrepancy between scientists' belief that an asteroid strike caused the extinction of dinosaurs and their findings that the asteroid-related debris would have settled within enough time to prevent plants from disappearing and dinosaurs from freezing.

It sounds like you chose (D): "The asteroid was at least 9.6 km in diameter, large enough for many dinosaurs to be killed by the strike itself and by subsequent tidal waves." This answer choice is incorrect because of the word "most." We are looking for an explanation that will account for all dinosaurs dying, and (D) only accounts for most.

Answer choice (E) states that "dinosaurs were susceptible to fatal respiratory problems caused by contamination of the air by asteroid debris." This suggests that all dinosaurs are susceptible to these problems, which could explain the extinction of the entire species. (E) is also a better choice than (D) because it describes air contamination that seems to impact a more widespread area than does the original strike/tidal waves of the asteroid.

Does that make sense? Please let us know if you have any additional questions!