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Did Global Shockwave kill dinosaurs?



TomHopp@aol.com wrote
>>
>>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?
>>
>

That's an interesting idea, and it can be elaborated in various ways.
Inhaling burning hot gas wouldn't do the lungs any good, and could have
been the cause of death. The effect would be to kill off anything that
depends on breathing air from the open atmosphere. Animals living in deep
burrows or caves could survive because their protected air wouldn't get to
deadly heat before the shock wave heat dissipated from the area. Generally
only small animals would be living in such protected places, so they would
be the only air-breathers to survive. In this model, all big air-breathers
die quickly, and small animals inherit the earth. You can't make the air
toxic too long, or all air-breathers die, and we know that didn't happen.

That doesn't wipe out marine life, but ammonoids -- at least -- did go
extinct at the KT. A report at the GSA meeting showed evidence that the
impact caused global tsunamis to "slosh around" in the Atlantic, which
definitely would not have helped the local marine life. Continental slopes
collapsed along eastern North America, which would have caused further
problems.

-- Jeff Hecht