What really wiped out Dinosaurs – Maybe Toxic Flowers

As we all believe and most of all agree that Dinosaurs became extinct due to a massive asteroid impact. However, a new study suggests that what wiped out dinosaurs was in fact caused by flower plants and the asteroid did only the last bit of wiping out. Scientists believe that dinosaurs used to eat all these flowers and flowers developed themselves into poisonous one.

Styracosaurus eating magnolias
Styracosaurus eating magnolias [source Fine Art America ]
At the University of Baltimore in collaboration with the University at Albany a conducted study on what might truly happened to the dinosaurs, published in the journal Ecology and Evolution. It shows that the toxic plants were deadly to the dinosaurs, because they were unable to develop taste aversions to the newly developed plants.

They call this theory Biotic Revenge hypothesis, according to them this plant developed and evolved with toxicity as defence mechanism. Also the dinosaurs had trouble making the difference the previous and the new versions, this is why it became lethal to them. One dinosaur would eat lots of plants to survive hence this defence mechanism was developed by the plants.

This theory doesn’t ignore the asteroid impact fact that took its toll on the largest reptiles that ever lived, after hitting on the coast of Mexico. This study shows that flowering plants appeared in fossil records before the asteroid strike took place. First plant eating dinosaurs started dyeing, then carnivorous dinosaurs which depend on them started to die.

“A reason why most attempts to eliminate rats have not been successful is because they, like many other species, have evolved to cope with plant toxicity,” Gordon Gallup, professor and evolutionary psychologist. He added “When rats encounter a new food, they typically sample only a small amount, and if they get sick, they show a remarkable ability to avoid that food again because they associate the taste and smell of it with the negative reaction.”

[source Terminix]
An analysis on modern descendants of dinosaurs was also conducted. Birds were unable to develop taste aversions. However, they were able to develop aversions to the visual look of those plants that caused them to get sick. Crocodiles continued eating the toxic food, hence not developing any taste or visual aversions towards toxic food.

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