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Tyrann O'Saurus; SCIENTISTS: METEORITE IN IRISH SEA CREATED T-REX.

Byline: By JENNA SLOAN

GIANT dinosaurs like the Tyrannosaurus Rex were able to evolve after a huge meteorite blasted into the Irish Sea, scientists claimed yesterday.

The colossal impact 200 million years ago left a crater the size of Kildare in St George's Channel.

The 29,000kph strike created a tsunami that swamped huge parts of Europe and triggered a wave of climate change, allowing formerly puny dinosaurs to grow into massive monsters.

Michael Simms from Belfast's Ulster Museum led the research. He said: "There was a sudden increase in dinosaur size around the time we dated this impact.

"There were major changes in life on Earth at that time. The impact may have been a factor."

The 48km-wide crater is now buried beneath the Irish Sea.

Mr Simms' team found the same pattern in rocks from Northern Ireland to Yorkshire when they searched for signs of the impact which would have caused ripples over 161,000 square kilometres.

Mr Simms said: "When this happened sand on the sea floor were violently shaken and vast amounts of energy released.

"The only way this could happen was to have something hitting the Earth at high speed."

Palaeontologist Paul Barrett called the findings "interesting". He added: "What we want to back this up is a crater of the right age."

Irish Mirror Comment: P6

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WORLD COLLIDE: A fireball impact may have helped T-Rex, right, take over the Earth
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Oct 9, 2006
Words:241
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