Dinosaur Extinction for Kids

How Did Dinosaurs Become Extinct?

Want to know more information about dinosaur extinction?

We ask "How did dinosaurs become extinct?" and do some 'digging' for answers!

Based on different research we outline some theories about why they became extinct. Share them with your kids and see which they think really happened.

Dinosaurs became extinct about 65 million years ago at the end of the cretaceous period (see what cretaceous dinosaurs were around at this time).

Dinosaur Extinction for KidsAbout 70% of all animal life on earth died out. Scientists call it a mass extinction – it wasn’t the first mass extinction in earth’s history and it probably won’t be the last!

Having existed for 165 million years, why did dinosaurs die out?

There are many different theories about why this happened. We will probably never know exactly what happened, which means that scientists will continue to disagree and come up with different dinosaur extinction theories.

Here are some of them:

Asteroid Impact

Dinosaur Extinction for Kids - Asteroid

A massive asteroid hit the earth at Chicxulub on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico about 65 million years.

The meteor crater is 180 km from rim to rim and scientists have worked out that the asteroid must have been 10 km across. It is thought that the impact would have caused massive damage, including a giant dust cloud which lead to massive changes in the climate.

This would have destroyed lots of the cretaceous plants, so herbivorous dinosaurs starved and the meat eating ones were left with nothing to eat either.

Ice Age Theory

Now and again, the earth cools into periods we call ice ages. As dinosaurs were thought to be cold blooded, it would have been hard for them to cope with such cold conditions.

For example, if large parts of the planet were covered in ice, then there would have been little or no plants for herbivorous dinos to eat. However, there is no real evidence of an ice age at this time.

Volcano Theory

Dinosaur Extinction Facts for Kids - Volcano

There was massive volcanic activity between 63 and 67 million years ago, particularly on the Deccan Plateau in western India. This, again, would have caused a massive change in climate, which dinosaurs would have found hard to adapt to.


It is possible that a disease spread through the dinosaur population causing their extinction.

Competition from Other Animals

Fossils of small mammals have been found from 65 million years ago. It is possible that these small cretaceous animals started to compete with dinosaurs, for example stealing and eating dinosaur eggs. However, no-one is sure whether mammals caused dinosaur extinction, or they thrived because dinosaurs were no longer around.

Gradual Extinction

The number of dinos declined throughout the cretaceous period. Maybe a number of factors contributed to their eventual extinction and they just died out.

Dinosaur extinction is a big mystery, as although dinosaurs died out at this time, many species survived, including similar animal types like crocodiles.

New Discoveries

Scientist have come up with some strange ideas but none of the theories really explains everything, so we will probably never be sure what happened.

To help you keep up with the news and discoveries about this, I have set up a news page on Why are Dinosaurs Extinct?

So what do you think? Have you got a theory? Why not invent a story about how you think dinos became extinct and share it with us here at Kids-dinosaurs.com. You can even upload a drawing to go with it!


I am happy for your class to submit their theories, but PLEASE send only one compiled submission under your school name - not individual ones. Then I will put up a class page for you.

See other sent stories:

Click below to see stories from other visitors.

The History of Dinosaurs 
Dinosaurs were extinct 65 million years ago, and to my mind, our planet Earth was really hit by an asteroid. However, our planet didn't explode, moreover, …

Acid Rain caused Dinosaur Extinction 
Well, I am Scott and this is my theory. Okay, I think the dinosaurs were experiencing acid rain, which is not literally rain that is acid. Acid rain …

The Mexican Meteorock  
One day all the dinosaurs were on land they saw something in the sky. It looked like a big rock. It was falling down. All of the dinosaurs didn't know …

More Readers Dinosaur Theories 
I think the dinosaurs died because all the plants died so the plant eaters could not eat, and since all the hebivores died, all the meat eaters could not …

Dinosaur Extinction Theory - Catching a Cold 
Once upon a time there was a planet filled with millions of wild life, including the dinosaurs. They lived for a very long period of time but soon realized …

Dinosaur Extinction in Creationism 
About 6,000 years ago, God created the dinosaurs on day six of creation. This is the same day He created man. At this time all things were vegetarian, …

Dinosaur Extinction caused by Ninjas 
I think Ninjas came from the future to kill dinosaurs for meat. (image courtesy www.motifake.com)

Long-term Extinction  
The dinosaurs may have a lacking amount of vitamin d. which came from the sunlight. But alot of dust and particles blocked a maximum amount of the sun. …

A comet cased dinosaur extinction 
a comet from space flew and wrecked earth the comet had probaly made all dinosaur die so the bones are buried underneath the ground becuse of the comet …

What really happened..... 
Over 65 million years ago dinosaurs lived here just like we do, except with out all of the buildings and cars. They had houses, learning facilities, …

More of your dinosaur extinction theories.

Some of your ideas were short, so I have pulled them together into one page.

Go to Kids Dinosaur Home from Dinosaur Extinction

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