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Re: Asteroid Impact Finally Confirmed

Judy Molnar writes;

>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 take on impact senarios goes something like this: Things a pretty brutal for 
roughly two years, then life tries to go back to normal (even the Tamboro 
Volcanic Explosion effects lasted for only a year or two).  What I see is 
dormant animals reawakening to a world that is highly restritive in food 
supplies, where there is only enough food resources to sustain animals with a 
small body mass.  This could explain why the big animals were hit hard.

>B) How come lots of marine plankton (which assumably were the base of the
>ocean food chain) went extinct, but horseshoe crabs, many fish and sharks
>did not?

For a variation of the above explanation.  Plankton suffered greatly, but how 
did algae fare?  If some varieties of algae were to come through in good shape, 
they might be able to provide a solid enough nutrient base that would allow 
relatively small animals to survive (I know this doesn't explain the Great 
White lineage going through alright).

Rob Meyerson
Orphan Vertebrate Paleontologist

When the going gets wierd, the wierd turn pro.