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Did Dinosaurs BECOME Oil?



While talking to my sister about dinosaurs, she commented that they "all
turned to oil." A gently suggested that nothing I'd read would justify the
theory that crude oil deposits come from dinosaurs.

Instead, I proposed, the notion came from the Sinclair Dino commercials of
the Sixties and -- according to my dinosaur postcard collection -- the oil
company's dino display at the 1964-65 New York World's Fair.

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.

Would anyone like to comment on the vague assumptions on an armchair
paleontologist that:

* There is little or no connection between dinosaurs and the formation of
oil.

* The dinosaur->oil connection is a widely-held misconception, especially
among baby boomers.

* Petroleum's sources are generally/always/often from earlier geologic times.

* Crude oil was formed in many ways, e.g. the disputed theory linking a
Swedish asteroid impact crater with oil deposits.

* Sinclair Oil deserves the credit/blame for the popular "dinosaurs became
oil" myth.

* 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.

Ok, let's hear the arguments!

Willard Harrison