Prior to this discovery, there had been no dinosaur fossils that had been found within ten feet of the so-called “K-T boundary”. As such, some paleontologists speculate that dinosaurs could have gone extinct prior to the meteor impact, after, or through a longer process. The Yale unearthing, however, suggests otherwise: at least one dinosaur species had been going strong up until the last days (or at least, the last few thousand years) before the meteor hit Earth and changed life on the planet by facilitating the rise of mammals — including homo sapiens.
Some dinosaurs may have been better adapted to the dying days of the Cretaceous than others. Avian dinosaurs, such as the ultra-fast therapods and ‘raptor’ dinosaurs, who likely had feathers for heat conservation and display, could possibly have thrived in a situation where the non-avians could not. As ceratopsians were non-avians, however, this single horn is good evidence that the bird-like and non bird-like dinosaurs both were doing fine up until an asteroid the size of New York City hit the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. It seems likely now that the impact itself, rather than prior environmental causes, would have eradicated the dinosaur species.