In DepthPaleontology

Toxic algae may be culprit in mysterious dinosaur deaths

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Science  01 Sep 2017:
Vol. 357, Issue 6354, pp. 857
DOI: 10.1126/science.357.6354.857-a

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Seventy million years ago, they all came to drink in the rapidly drying river: long-necked sauropods, fierce theropods, crocodiles, lizards, and raven-sized birds. They never left. The giant and the tiny were entombed together in the riverbed, forming what is now a spectacular series of mass graves in northwestern Madagascar. For decades, researchers thought drought alone was the culprit behind this ancient series of graves. But last week, at the annual meeting of the Society for Vertebrate Paleontology in Calgary, Canada, a team of scientists suggested a different killer: harmful algal blooms in the very water that had lured the animals.