Have Scientists Found Fossil Fish Killed By Asteroid That Perhaps Wiped Out The Dinosaurs?


Justified & Ancient
Feb 5, 2011
Scientists may have found fossils of fish directly killed by the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs

Scientists Find Fossilized Fish That May Have Been Blasted by Debris From Asteroid That Ended the Dinosaur Age


"But the rocks at Tanis preserve a mixture of both freshwater fish, like paddlefish and sturgeon, and marine mollusks called ammonites—implying that around this time, the ocean had mixed with freshwater rivers. And lodged inside the fossilized paddlefish’s gills were more of the glass spherules. It appeared that waves containing shocked glass from the impact over 3,050 kilometers (1,895 miles) away had inundated the area, and in their dying breaths, the fish had inhaled some of them. "

Sharon Hill

Complicated biological machine
Dec 16, 2014
Pennsylvania, USA
There is a lot of back-channel chatter going on with paleontologists about this. It's being sold as the "dinosaur graveyard". The evidence hyped in the media stories are apparently not in the PNAS paper. Note this from the New Yorker splash:

"One prominent West Coast paleontologist who is an authority on the KT event told me, “I’m suspicious of the findings. They’ve been presented at meetings in various ways with various associated extraordinary claims. He could have stumbled on something amazing, but he has a reputation for making a lot out of a little.” As an example, he brought up DePalma’s paper on Dakotaraptor, which he described as “bones he basically collected, all in one area, some of which were part of a dinosaur, some of which were part of a turtle, and he put it all together as a skeleton of one animal.” He also objected to what he felt was excessive secrecy surrounding the Tanis site, which has made it hard for outside scientists to evaluate DePalma’s claims.

Johnson, too, finds the lack of transparency, and the dramatic aspects of DePalma’s personality, unnerving. “There’s an element of showmanship in his presentation style that does not add to his credibility,” he said. Other paleontologists told me that they were leery of going on the record with criticisms of DePalma and his co-authors. All expressed a desire to see the final paper, which will be published next week, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, so that they could evaluate the data for themselves."

Update: I've now gone through the paper's supplement. Only a single dinosaur bone is mentioned: a partial ceratopsian ilium that was 'extensively transported' before deposition. This is an awesome site, but I don't see any evidence for a dinosaur graveyard! Something is weird.

That doesn't mean the find isn't real but science via media is poor form, hurts your rep, and usually turns out to be oversold.

Kingsize Wombat

Abominable Snowman
Jan 19, 2016
Maybe we can edit the thread to change the fish reference, because there are claims that it is fish and very likely dinosaurs:

On August 5, 2013, I received an e-mail from a graduate student named Robert DePalma. ... I called, and he told me that he had discovered a site...which contained, among other things, direct victims of the catastrophe.

DePalma discovered a large feather. “Every day is Christmas out here,” he said. He exposed the feather with precise movements. It was a crisp impression in the layer of mud, perhaps thirteen inches long. “This is my ninth feather,” he said. “The first fossil feathers ever found at Hell Creek. I’m convinced these are dinosaur feathers. I don’t know for sure. But these are primitive feathers, and most are a foot long. There are zero birds that big from Hell Creek with feathers this primitive. It’s more parsimonious to suggest it was a known dinosaur, most likely a theropod, possibly a raptor.” He kept digging. “Maybe we’ll find the raptor that these feathers came from, but I doubt it. These feathers could have floated from a long way off.”
It's a very promising site - but as so often, we will have to wait for the outcome. However, the whole article gives you an idea of what they are finding there. If true, totally amazing.

Aug 19, 2003
The controversy continues.

Astonishment, skepticism greet fossils claimed to record dinosaur-killing asteroid impact
By Colin BarrasApr. 1, 2019 , 10:50 AM

A fossil site in North Dakota records a stunningly detailed picture of the devastation minutes after an asteroid slammed into Earth about 66 million years ago, a group of paleontologists argue in a paper due out this week. Geologists have theorized that the impact, near what is now the town of Chicxulub on Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, played a role in the mass extinction at the end of the Cretaceous period, when all the dinosaurs (except birds) and much other life on Earth vanished.

If the team, led by Robert DePalma, a graduate student in paleontology at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, is correct, it has uncovered a record of apocalyptic destruction 3000 kilometers from Chicxulub. At the site, called Tanis, the researchers say they have discovered the chaotic debris left when tsunamilike waves surged up a river valley. Trapped in the debris is a jumbled mess of fossils, including freshwater sturgeon that apparently choked to death on glassy particles raining out of the sky from the fireball lofted by the impact.

“That’s the first ever evidence of the interaction between life on the last day of the Cretaceous and the impact event,” says team member Phillip Manning, a paleontologist at the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom. The deposit may also provide some of the strongest evidence yet that non-bird dinosaurs were still thriving on impact day.