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دوره: کتاب پنجم / فصل: درس 23 / درس 2

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متن انگلیسی درس

How the Dinosaurs Really Died

Many scientists and intellectuals think that dinosaurs died when an asteroid smashed into the Earth millions of years ago. However, recently, there has been some controversy over this theory. Some scientists think that it isn’t accurate. They think that a tiny insect may have been the biggest factor in the death of these huge creatures. That insect was the mosquito.

These scientists do think that an asteroid hit the Earth in the time of the dinosaurs. But that wasn’t what killed all of them. At that time, insects, including the mosquito, were beginning to evolve. Today, we can regulate the number of mosquitoes with pesticides. But that was impossible millions of years ago. The mosquitoes multiplied quickly. And they were certainly not idle. Since there were so many mosquitoes, it was easy for them to bite many of the dinosaurs. When they bit another living thing, the mosquitoes passed along a deadly disease. So the dinosaurs were stricken with the disease. The vast majority of them—from the vegetarians to the meat-eaters—died.

To reinforce this idea, scientists stress how gradually the dinosaurs died. If an asteroid had killed them, they would have died very quickly. But the number of dinosaurs decreased slowly. In addition, scientists have found genetic material of mosquitoes in fossils. This material proves that mosquitoes existed back then. Although there may have been other factors, the dinosaurs died mainly because of disease, the scientists say.

No matter how it happened, the dinosaurs’ death had a major impact on other living things. Many dinosaurs ate mammals. After the dinosaurs died, mammals were able to evolve and produce offspring. Birds also evolved. Scientists have analyzed the genomes of birds and have discovered that birds have identical genetic material to some dinosaurs. So, there may still be dinosaurs among us after all.

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