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Re: Did Dinosaurs BECOME Oil?

> From: Willa25743@aol.com
> > 
> >While talking to my sister about dinosaurs, she commented that they "all
> > turned to oil." ...
> > 
> > I'm not really current with theories on how oil was formed, but my 
> > perception
> > is that oil deposits more probably resulted much earlier from organic (even
> > unicellular) matter deposited and fossilized at the mouths of prehistoric
> > rivers.
>This is roughly correct.  There is some reason to suppose that oil
>formation is still going on, for instance in the Mississippi Delta.

I believe planktonic "oozes" in isolated ocean basins is a more likely
environment.  I'm not sure what the percentage of organic matter in the
delta is, but I'd suspect too much non-organic silt.

> > 
> > * There is little or no connection between dinosaurs and the formation of
> > oil.
>True, as far as I can tell.
> > 
> > * The dinosaur->oil connection is a widely-held misconception, especially
> > among baby boomers.
> > 
>This seems likely, but I have no basis for certainty on this matter.

I think Chevron's TV commercials a few years back help perpetuate this

> > * Petroleum's sources are generally/always/often from earlier geologic 
> > times.
>I think most economically important oil reserves do date from
>Paleozoic times, but I would hesitate to say that oil deposits
>in general *always* are that old.

Actually around Southern CA, much of the oil is from tertiary rocks.  Most
of the oil near Santa Barbara is associated with the Monterey fm. which is
miocene in age.  Anybody know about the oil bearing strata in the Middle

Now, most economically important coal seems to be paleozoic in age.

> > 
> > * Crude oil was formed in many ways, e.g. the disputed theory linking a
> > Swedish asteroid impact crater with oil deposits.
>I would place little credance on that "theory" - the guy is pretty
>much a crackpot.
>>From what little I have read, my impression is that oil mostly
>forms from the degradation of microplankton when rapidly buried
>and heated, as might happen in a major river delta.  I have not
>heard any serious proposals for any other substantial source.

Just change river delta to ocean basin and I fully agree.

> > 
> > * There's little or nothing we can do to dispell this fanciful notion. It
> > will have to fade away on its own. We should ignore/dispute dino-to-oil
> > comments disseminated by mass media.
>I disagree here.  Folk tales do not fade away on their own.  If we
>who know do not actively correct these things, they will last