Researchers have found a reason for the puzzling survival of soft tissue and collagen in dinosaur bones - the bones are younger than anyone ever guessed.Carbon-14 (C-14) dating of multiple samples of bone from 8 dinosaurs found in Texas, Alaska, Colorado, and Montana revealed that they are only 22,000 to 39,000 years old.
Various theories as to the cause of this extinction have been suggested, ranging from a huge asteroid striking the earth to changes in global sea levels and climate to sustained periods of volcanism.
Members of the Paleochronology group presented their findings at the 2012 Western Pacific Geophysics Meeting in Singapore, August 13-17, a conference of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) and the Asia Oceania Geosciences Society (AOGS).
Since dinosaurs are thought to be over 65 million years old, the news is stunning - and more than some can tolerate.
In a paper in the prestigious journal Geology, the researchers discuss their method and reveal that it determined that the femur bone from a giant hadrosaur dinosaur was 64.8 million years old.
The finding has caused a significant stir in scientific circles.
Knowing when a dinosaur or other animal lived is important because it helps us place them on the evolutionary family tree.