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Re: asteroids and dinosaurs

In a message dated 96-04-24 22:51:25 EDT, you write:

>He also mentioned something that I have never read anywhere or heard
>anybody say.  He stated that large numbers of dinosaurs were killed in
>the earthquakes that followed the impact and implied that this played
>a large part in the extinction of the dinosaurs.  This scenario sounds
>rather unlikely to me. Has anybody on the list heard or read of such a
>proposal, and if so, what are the references?

Hello Lora,

While large earthquakes and aftershocks would be a natural consequence of a 6
mile wide asteroid, no one really knows for sure how severe they would be. It
is now reasonably certain  that a large rock hit the Yucatan . Debate still
lingers about the actual timing of the impact, it's actual size and of course
weather or not the dinosaurs and many of their contemporaries bit the dust s
a result. Likewise, the environmental consequences are also quite speculative
but work is continuing this problem is being addressed. I can't speak about
the seismological effects but such an impact would seem to produce quakes and
aftershocks off the Richter Scale but there is probably an upper bound. Just
as there are casualties in our "less severe"  earthquakes today,  casualties
among the dinosaurs at least in the proximity of the Yucatan may have
happened. Until we find a skeleton that shows some indication of being
crushed by something  or buried alive by impact affected material,  one can
only speculate about direct impact casualties.

Hope this helps.

Thomas R. Lipka
Paleontological/Geological Studies