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Re: Theories on the extinction of dinosaurs
In a message dated 11/13/99 4:14:04 AM, Larry Febo wrote:
<< As for those large marine reptiles??? Maybe they were warm-
blooded? (it seems a possible corollary to this hypothesis, as if they were
cold-blooded, surely some of them might have survived with the sharks...no? >>
Again, on the super-hot shockwave blast theme: Any sea creature that had to
come to the surface to breath would have trouble getting through the upper
2-3 meters to the surface, given that it would be boiling. Any creatures like
sharks that could dive for a few hours or more, could have survived. Hence
mososaurs could have been cold blooded, and still not survive. Plesiosaurs
warm blooded? -- fine, and how about parboiled?
I can tell people are mystified by all those cute little flying birdies who
somehow made it past K/T. But it would be a good exercise to catalog the
number of living genera that exist in far-flung polar environments, and which
spend at least some of their time in burrows and caves. You might be
surprised. A cretaceous neornithine radiation might even have made it through
a heat-blast, given a similarly broad range of genera living under the dirt.
I don't doubt that there was a dust cloud and cooling, and that these may
have added a predominantly insectivore/endotherm character to the ultimate
survivors, but that may only have served to winnow down those who first
survived the blast.
At some point after blast-dust, you get to just about the right mix of
survivors. All due, then, to the impact.
- Tom Hopp