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HUMOR: Impossibly Huge Dinos: Further Implications

forwarded from sci.bio.paleontology with permissions

Impossibly Huge Dinos: Further Implications
by Hugh Johnson

First of all I would like to thank all the paleontology buffs and 
renowned science luminaries who sent emails praising my 
ground-breaking theoretical work, including the high-powered 
head-hunters and intellectual talent scouts who are offering me 
seven-figure salaries for working at home, and especially all the 
congratulatory young ladies at One-900-HotChix.com. However, I 
realize that, ncredible as it seems, a few myopic scoffers have 
not taken my work seriously, and therefore I cannot rest on my l
aurels. I must forge ahead, and reveal the further implications of
 my core theory, much as Einstein did when he extended Special 
Relativity to General Relativity. Science is best regarded as a 
toolkit, with theories as tools, and the proof of a theory is 
directly related to its usefullness as a tool. I hope to 
demonstrate that my theory is useful for explaining far more 
than mere oversized sauropods and pterosaurs. Once its full 
explanatory power is revealed, the skeptics will be silenced 
for good, or my name ain't Barney Rubble. 

To recap just a bit, my core theory (see the post titled 
"Impossibly Huge Dinos: Mystery Solved!") states that sauropod 
gizzards mutated into nuclear cold fusion reactors, allowing 
the beasts to subsist on a diet of water, and creating helium 
gas as a byproduct. This helium, stored within the animal's 
copious belly, produced enough atmospheric bouancy to allow the 
sauropods to hover like balloons. A symbiotic relationship arose 
with the pterosaurs, who were predatory gliders too heavy to fly 
on their own. Several pterosaurs would perch along each sauropod's 
neck and tail, thereby gaining a high platform from which they could 
launch their attacks. By flapping their wings while still affixed 
to their perches, they could maneuver and propell the sauropod, 
while a 'helmsman' pterosaur at the rear controlled altitude by 
stoppering the big sauropod's flatulence. I noted the reign of 
terror these sauropod/pterosaur air squadrons would have spread 
wherever they went, but I hadn't yet worked out the details. 
Now, with the help of some brilliant insights from Henry, my 
seven-year-old prodigy nephew, I can tell the rest of the story. 

One can only imagine the impression the pterosaurs would have made 
to the lowly earthbound creatures down below. Even the mighty 
tyrannosaurs would have fled in fear, as the pterosaurs appeared 
to be so all-powerful that they could lift a gigantic sauropod 
and whisk it away to a gruesome fate in some communal eyrie. The 
pterosaurs would have adapted to this situation, taking for 
granted that other predators scattered before them, leaving the 
hunting grounds open to themselves. But ultimately, they were 
frail, stork-like creatures, despite their impressive wingspans. 
The other predators would have caught on to this in due course, 
and would have stopped being intimidated. As the hunting grounds 
re-filled with uncowed competetors, the pterosaurs had to evolve 
the trick of releasing one sauropod's helium all at once, like 
releasing the air from a toy balloon. The sauropod would have shot 
across the sky like an unguided missile -- which is exactly what 
it was. With its gizzard irradiated by years of nuclear reactions, 
it carried enough fissionable material to reach critical compressive
 mass on impact, and with all the deuturium present, the resulting 
explosion would have been that of a hydrogen bomb. It was then a 
simple matter for the pterosaurs to glide in and gobble up the 
tender fresh-cooked snacks.

The really amazing predictive power of this theory becomes apparent 
when we consider what would have happened when this scenario was 
played out in equatorial regions, with the sacrificial sauropod 
launched in an easterly direction. The earth's rotation and angular 
momentum would have contributed to the beast's speed and trajectory, 
bringing it very close to -- and sometimes surpassing -- escape 
velocity. It may not be possible to calculate how many times such a
n event took place, but obviously it happened often enough to put 
many many sauropod corpses in stable orbit, where, over millions of 
years, their mutual micro-gravitational attraction slowly drew them 
together into one humongous satellite. Within this huge agglomeration 
of dessicated tissues and irradiated gizzards, the heavy isotopes 
eventually sank to the center, melting the whole thing into a 
carbonaceous boloid with an irradium core. It was then only a 
matter of time before the orbit deteriorated in the 
extra-atmospheric drag, and the whole thing came crashing down 
in a tropical area -- the Yucatan of course -- with an explosive 
force beyond the pterosaur's wildest dreams, sending death and 
K-T irradium to every corner of the globe. 

That's exactly how it happened. Can there be any doubters left? 
I want to thank Henry for his nuclear physics expertise and his 
handiness with the dictionary. 

hugh ? semplicesoft ? com