When Dinosaurs Roamed, Wildfire Was a Foe

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Fierce dinosaurs may not have had to contend with many predators, but intense and frequent wildfires may have been a real threat during their reign, new research suggests. Wildfires seem to have left their mark on the archeological record in the form of charcoal deposits.

The researchers discovered these abundant and widespread fires by analyzing the amount of charcoal in the fossil record. They created a global database of charcoal deposits during the Cretaceous Period (the period from 145 million to 65 million years ago). Many of these charcoal deposits were associated with beds of dinosaur fossils.

"Charcoal is the remnant of the plants that were burnt and is easily preserved in the fossil record," study researcher Andrew C. Scott, a professor from Royal Holloway University of London, said in a statement....

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