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Re: Theories on the extinction of dinosaurs



In a message dated 11/18/99 12:58:13 PM Eastern Standard Time, 
Dinogeorge@aol.com writes:

<< Multicausal extinction theories suffer from the problem of having all the 
causes come together simultaneously all over the world to produce the  
extinction. As the number of causes goes up, the probability of this  
happening drops >way< down.  >>

Another problem with separating pre-existing from impact-derived causes is 
the indirect effects of the impact.  For example, say that a certain species 
hunts only one type of prey and that type of prey becomes extinct because of 
the impact.  Some members of the species might be able to find a new prey, 
say ammonnites, just to include one specific name in this observation.  The 
ammonites might become extinct rapidly as a result of this additional 
predation.  From the fossil record alone, it would be difficult to separate 
indirect impact results from the results of other causes.  The same pursuit 
of new prey followed by the new prey's extinction might have happened without 
the impact.
The converse is also true; anything resulting from another cause at about the 
same time would appear to be the result of the impact.
Is it possible that this is one of those insoluble mysteries?