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DINO EXTINCTIONS



Betty Cunningham wrote in reply to my doubts about the tiny rock killing off
dinosaurs:
<<I have no difficulty imagining some natural disaster of an even larger
magnitude occuring......>>

Of course, yes, a rock falling from the sky would cause devistation in the
area, local forest fires, tsunamis, etc and probably kill a lot of stuff
locally.  In fact, it would kill everything locally.

<<When Mt St. Helens' erupted ash was deposited across a 4 state swathe
and we had red sunsets and haze due to the ash in the atmosphere.>>

A slight red haze does not make a baking sky for months afterward.  Oddly
enough, I was very close to Mt Saint Helens when it errupted and got no ash in
my yard.  The only reason it covered 4 states, is because the wind was blowing
east.

Allan Edels wrote:
<<The multiple effects that I detailed (and there are more)
are related to a sufficiently large rock (or whatever) hitting the earth.
[snip]
are in science), but that tiny speck could throw up into the atmosphere a
HELL of a lot dust, etc.>>

The point you fail to see, is that if you keep making the nuclear winter
effects bigger and the atmospheric baking longer and hotter, and the forest
fires greater, you simply exterminate everything.  The greater the effects
are, the more likely you will kill everything.

No doubt a really really big rock from the sky would be devistating and kill
everything, but it cannot be so selective as to kill say enantiornithines and
not neornithines, or ammonites and not nautiloids.  Baking skies and burning
forests do not selectively kill of basal ornithopods instead of basal
primates, or avisaurids and hesperornithids instead of anseriformes: they kill
everything.

<<The effects listed need not have all ocurred to their greatest possible
extent, but would be enough to upset the ecological balance of the entire
planet, so that the extinctions would occur as an offshoot of the impact.>>

But the extinctions would not have been selective, they would have devistated
or destroyed everything, not whole groups of taxa, while leaving others
completely untouched.

<<Feel free to see no causative link, others will.  Just as in some areas
where you see a causative link, some others will not.  I personally,
obviously, lean towards seeing that link in this case.>>

Your causitive link is flawed though.  It would have debistated everything,
not selective groups of taxa, while leaving closely related, and extremely
similar ones untouched.

Peter Buchholz
Tetanurae@aol.com