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North American plant extinctions



      I dont want to get into a protracted argument about K/T extinction 
causes. Personally I believe there probably was an impact of some 
sort at the boundary, the evidence is quite strong, but I think that this 
just added to the problems of a worsening climate - a sort of minny 
ice age-ette ( possibly induced by deccan Trap vulcanism ), which led 
to marine regresions in turn affecting primary producers 
(phytoplankton)in the oceans and the enevitable ('cuse spelling) crash 
in the food web took out many other marine organisms (including 
ammonites and those that preyed upon them - large marine 
archosaurs).  Dinosaurs for some reason were ill-adapted to the new 
environments and lost their Darwinian strugle.

     One point I wanted to coment on was the plant extinctions in N. 
America.  This has been stated as evidence that a bolide was 
responsible for the dinos demise. Thinking back over the past few 
years alone it seems that the modern record of North America itself 
and the Australian bush (which have both recently speeking suffered 
huge forest fires, perticularly Australia) would contain evidence for 
future geologists of similar extraterrestrial causes for the demise 
of the fossils preserved in that layer of soot and clay.  As would the 
natural process of reforestation (fern spike).
     
      I'm not saying that it isn't possible that a meteorite caused these 
floral graveyards of the K/T (before anyone starts to call me 
unscientific), what I am saying is that it is just possible there may be 
another explanation for what the fossil record tells us - after all the 
Mesozoic isn't a place we can tune in to watch on TV - we can't be 
certain of anything and so I would also like to ask that we give this 
war up and start on something new.

Gabhan Pettigrew,      Last night in the museum's hall
Sgl3GP@Cardiff.ac.UK   The fossils gathered for a ball
Cardiff University.    There were no drums or saxophones
CHEERS                 But just the clatter of their bones
                       A rolling, rattling carefree circus
                       Of mamuth polkas and mazurkas
                       Pterodactyls and brontosauruses
                       Sang ghostly prehistoric choruses
                       Amid the mastodonic wassail
                       I caught the eye of one small fossil
                       Cheer up, sad world, he said, 
                       and winked -
                       It's kind of fun to be extinct!

                       Ogden Nash.