Dinosaur crater’s clue to origin of life

Mar 23, 2017

By Paul Rincon

The crater made by the asteroid that killed off the dinosaurs is revealing clues to the origins of life on Earth.

Scientists have drilled into the 200km-wide Chicxulub crater now buried under the Gulf of Mexico.

They say its rocks show evidence of having been home to a large “hydrothermal system”, where hot fluids flowed through cracks and fissures.

Similar systems, generated by impacts on the early Earth, could have helped kickstart the first lifeforms.

The hydrothermal system at Chicxulub may have been active for two million years or more, the scientists say.

Dr David Kring, from the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston, is one of the researchers who discovered and reported the crater’s location.

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One comment on “Dinosaur crater’s clue to origin of life”

  • @OP – Dinosaur crater’s clue to origin of life

    I think this title is highly speculative!

    That hydrothermal vents may have played a part in the origins of life around three billion years ago or so, is quite likely.

    The detection of existence of extremophiles in hydrothermal vents which were formed as a result of a meteorite impact 65 million years ago, after they had already existed and been evolving on Earth for at least 2 to 3 billion years, seems somewhat remote from the time of abiogenesis and the chemistry of Earth at that time!

    It does however give new insights into the forms, structures, and plumbing, of some hydrothermal vents.



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