The state of North Dakota has a long history of being a dinosaur fossil hotspot, but new evidence suggests that an asteroid that landed in the treasure state may have been responsible for the extinction of these immense creatures.

KEYZ AM 660 logo
Get our free mobile app

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration has described the finding of a possibly amber-encased small asteroid pebble that crashed into Earth 66 million years ago as "mind-blowing."

Even though the Tanis dig site in North Dakota is 2,000 miles from the Chicxulub impact crater in Mexico, paleontologist Robert DePalma was convinced by the site's early finds that it offers unique evidence of the events that ended the dinosaur era.

At a unique fossil site in North Dakota's Hell Creek Formation, which has preserved traces of the catastrophic event that ended the dinosaur era—a key period in Earth's history—there have been other remarkable discoveries, like this one.

Among the fossils discovered are fish that ingested the debris thrown out after the impact, a turtle with a stick-like appearance, and what could be a leg from a dinosaur that witnessed the asteroid smash.

The Hell Creek Formation, which is 300 feet thick, contains a layer of rusty orange that is composed of little glass beads. The beads indicate the presence of volcanic activity close to the layer's deposition.

Still another form of quartz has been found, and it all points to a far more spectacular event: an asteroid the size of a billion atomic bombs exploded, sending shards of glass flying all over the planet, even North Dakota, and "shocking" the quartz.

Preliminary consensus among paleontologists suggests the results shed light on the dinosaurs' last days, although the results have not yet been peer reviewed.

The story of the discoveries was revealed in a NOVA documentary on PBS called “Dinosaur Apocalypse,” which features Sir David Attenborough and DePalma.

Your Kids Will Love Seeing Dinosaurs on this Colorado Road Trip

A drive from Dinosaur, Colorado to Vernal, Utah is filled with dinosaurs.

Gallery Credit: Nate Wilde

Laughable One-Star Reviews of Colorado's Dinosaur National Monument

Gallery Credit: Waylon Jordan

More From KEYZ AM 660