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Re: Dinosaur Extinction Theories



>I suppose that there is one central tennet I am driving at here and it
>would be interesting to get the opinions of other members of the group on
>this issue. Do you consider that the extinction of the dinosaurs is linked
>to the K-T extinction or that they were merely coincident. Parsimony would
>lead me to accept the former over the latter proposition. Accepting this
>basic tennet surely means that we can throw out all those 'dinosaur
>extinction scenarios' and just concentrate on mass extinction scenarios.

Paul et al -

        Oh, I concur most assuredly!  I think it just gets referred to as
the "dinosaur extinction theory" only because the general public is
enamored with our favorite beasties, at the expense of being aware that any
other fossil life forms exist!  8-)  I think we here all _know_ that it's
an extinction event that spans the various kingdoms far beyond dinosaurs,
but since it's the dinos we love, we tend to angle discussions back towards
them (I suppose if we wanted to talk about foram extinctions, we'd get
kicked over to the PaleoNet...)

        As for whether or not the bolide impact was coincedent or causal to
dino extinctions...well, statistically speaking, it'd be one heckuva
coincedence for the impact to be simple happenstance, but stranger things
have happened.  You're right:  it _is_ more parsimonious to think that the
impact had something to do with the extinctions...but the question is then:
was it _all_ that had to do with the extinctions?  As we all know, the
Late Cretaceous was a time which (coincedentally!) saw vast changes on the
planet, in terms of paleogeography, vulcanism, etc., etc.  Even if it was
just coincedence, the bolide just couldn't have picked a worse time to come
charging into the atmosphere.  Thus:  was it the Big Kahuna of extinction
causes, or just another gangsta lookin' fer a piece o' da action?  To
answer, we're just gonna end up rehashing all the stuff that we've chatted
about before hereabouts...



Jerry D. Harris
Now Impending PhD Student
        In (Surprise!) Paleontology at
        Southern Methodist University
Internet:  jdharris@teal.csn.net
CompuServe:  73132,3372
        (and thus 73132.3372@compuserve.com)

--)::)>   '''''''''''''/O\'''''''''''`  Jpq--   =o}\   w---^/^\^o

I currently have no humorous quote to put
        in this space.

--)::)>   '''''''''''''/O\'''''''''''`  Jpq--   =o}\   w---^/^\^o