Why Did Dinosaurs Die Out?
Since their discovery in the nineteenth century, the reason for the dinosaurs’ demise has been a matter of speculation and debate. No one is sure why dinosaurs died out. One possible reason is that they became extinct because the climate of the world changed brought on by volcanism, lowering sea level, and shifting continents.
The warm and swampy land where dinosaurs lived grew dry and cold, and the plants they ate no longer grew in their feeding grounds. As the plant-eaters died out, the meat-eating dinosaurs that depended on them for food also disappeared.
Another possible reason is that other kinds of animals may have learned to eat dinosaur eggs, causing the dinosaurs to die out. Perhaps both of these reasons together explain why dinosaurs became extinct.
Many other theories were developed, some reasonable but others rather far-fetched (including decimation by visiting aliens, widespread dinosaur “wars”, and “paläoweltschmertz”¬the idea that dinosaurs just got tired and went extinct).
Regardless of the details, most of these theories shared the common thought that dinosaurs were a group of animals that had reached the end of their evolutionary life.
Their extinction was seen as inevitable, the product of having evolved for too long. In most extinction scenarios, the dinosaurs were simply unable to cope with competition from mammals and the changing climate, and so they all went extinct.