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Re: Asteroid Impact Finally Confirmed

jamolnar@juno.com wrote:
> A) How come each of the following groups survived the impact: most land
> plants (especially ferns), roaches, ants, dragonflies, frogs, lizards,
> turtles, crocodilians, snakes, the tuatara, birds and mammals?  Sure,
> some of these animals can go into long periods of torpor to wait out
> harsh environments, but the impact's effects probably lasted much too
> long for an animal to survive in torpor.  Then there would be an extreme
> environment to have to adapt to when they wake up.

        My theory as that many of these vertibrate animals have a physical
light-sensor (the pineal gland) that would allow them to continue to
regulate their breeding and migratory schedules regardless of the
weather-so that a catyclysmic meteor strike scrweing up the weather or
volcanic ash screwing up the weather for several years would not affect
them nearly as much as animals that did not have these light sensors. 
They wouldn't be in torpor throughout the whole period, but would behave
rather normally as the temperatures would probably only drop a couple of
degrees anyways.
        It seems more and more likely that there wasn't these freezing
temperature that the term "Nuclear winter" invisions, more like a nasty
fog intitially and then quite possibly years of the same un-changing
soggy temperatures as the water displaced by an impact and the explosion
of heat being released which would undoubtably have to return to earth
in MANY long rains.
        They would still have to deal with whatever changes to the landscape
were caused by the direct effects or side effects of the event, but they
have an advantage over animals that had the same problems as well as
problems due to not being able to tell when winter was over and to
breed, or to leave to another area at the end of the season so.
        Ferns have the advantage of being tough as bricks.  They were some of
the first plants to recover at Mt St Helens. 
        Roaches will survive anything.

           Betty Cunningham  
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