Did a second killer asteroid finish the dinosaurs off? Crater in West Africa hints yes.

A likely asteroid impact crater from the latter days of the dinosaurs has been discovered off the coast of West Africa, raising questions about whether the asteroid that wiped out the dinos may have had a smaller sibling that struck around the same time.

The crater, hidden under about 3,000 feet (900 meters) of water and 1,300 feet (400 m) of sediment, hasn’t been directly studied yet; it’s only been detected in reconstructions of the ocean bed made using seismic waves. To prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the crater is indeed from an asteroid, scientists will need to drill into the structure and find minerals shocked by extreme heat and pressure. But the crater’s shape does point to an extraterrestrial origin, said David Kring, principal scientist at the Lunar and Planetary Institute who was not involved in the current study but was one of the discoverers of the Chicxulub impact site, the crater left by the asteroid that killed the nonavian dinosaurs about 66 million years ago. 


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