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Re: The Potentials... for discussion



Bernard Couet wrote:
> 
> Some heretical thoughts/questions:
> 
> - what % of all the big (>1m) vertebrates do you feel we have discovered
>    for the secondary era ?

Pure speculation, but I think it's fairly small.  Maybe 1-5% or so.

> - what could be found in the far future (65 millions years) from our
>    civilization if earth was shot tomorrow by a big meteor impact?
>    (I know some kind of answer for this one)

How big a meteor?  If it's big enough to wipe out human life (and thus
just about all macroscopic life on Earth) there will probably be plenty
of building fragments, aircraft parts, and the like.  If it's a meteor
like any of the variety of meteors which likely hit around the K/T
boundary we'd probably survive, as the dinos no doubt would have is a
whole slew of other conditions hadn't been stacking the deck against
them for the past 11 million years or so.  In any event, it depends on
how big the meteor is.

> - what could
>         1- be conserved

After the initial impact, many buildings and signs of industry would be
conserved.  Most would break down eventually, of course, leaving your
various resistant metals and extremely durable polymers to last for who
knows how long.  Dunno if it's be 65 million years, but some of 'em
would last an awfully long time.

>         2- be in a position to be found after such a long period?

Good question.  I don't think we've projected most things out that far.  
 
> Conclusion: Do we have any reasonnable proof that a kind
>         of dinosaurian civilization never existed?

No.  Lack of evidence is not evidence of lack.  However, it's not
unreasonable to suspect that some of the civilizations ancestors might
be preserved.  If humans died out tomorrow some would fossilize, just as
our ancestors for the past 10 million years have fossilized
representatives lying around.  Not a complete lineage, certainly, but
enough to at least give us a hint as to what's up.  I think
representatives of most dino lineages out there have been found even
though the vast majority of species have not.  The likelihood that not
only a species and its civilization but also its ancestors for several
million years have eluded us is pretty small.

Chris