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Re: "Sue", the K-T event, and an exploding planet.

Thomas R. Holtz wrote:

>At 12:42 PM 1/9/97 -0500, Steven Lazarus wrote

>>2) Are most dinosaur skeletons found to be radioactive?
>Depending on the formation involved, there are varying levels of
>radioactivity in the bones of some fossils (dinosaurs, mammals, etc.).
>These have to do with natural-occuring radioactive minerals in the ground
>water, though, not external/extraterrestrial sources.  During fossilization,
>some dissolved minerals in the ground water can become incorporated in the
>bone (either in the pore spaces of the bone or by replacing the
>hydroxylapatite grains in bone).  Some radioactive minerals preferentially
>replace hydroxylapatie, for example.

Organic matter is commonly more radioactive than background levels due to
the fact that radioactive elements such as Uranium and Thorium
preferentially complex with organic compounds.  Thus organic rich shales
are commonly radioactive in excess of that expected by the inclusion of
radioactive Potassium alone.

Bone is susceptable to becoming radioactive by virtue of the fact that the
Calcium sites in the bone matrix are just the right size for Strontium
atoms, and Strontium (including the radioactive isotopes) commonly replaces


>>I can only imagine what those on this list will think of the exploding
>>planet causing the K-T extinction...

>B5 spoiler: Vorlons probably did it. :-)

Hey pal!  We have only just started season 3 here, so lets have a bit more
warning.  Dirtyfilthystinkingrottenb5forthseasoner!

[ Ooo, hadn't realized that.  I'd have edited out the fraggin' spoiler
  if I'd known.  But it was pretty cryptic.  It's not like he told you
  that Bester is the leader of the shadows and that he and Ivanova
  have been secretly having a fling for the past five years.  Oops!
  (Don't worry; I made those up.) -- MR ]


cnedin@geology.adelaide.edu.au                  nedin@ediacara.org
Many say it was a mistake to come down from the trees, some say
the move out of the oceans was a bad idea. Me, I say the stiffening
of the notochord in the Cambrian was where it all went wrong,
it was all downhill from there.