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FARCICAL: Extinction due to "blue balls"
On Wed, 21 Apr 2004 02:08:43 +0000, Garrison Hilliard
> Lack of females may have done in dinosaurs
> Tue Apr 20, 5:00 PM ET
> WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An asteroid may have wiped out
> the dinosaurs 65 million
> years ago not simply by changing the world's climate
> and causing years of dark
> skies, but also by causing too many of them to be born
> "These animals live at the intersection of aquatic and
> terrestrial environments,
> in estuarine waters and river beds, which might have
> afforded some protection
> against the more extreme effects of environmental
> change, hence giving them more
> time to adapt," the researchers wrote.
Oh brother. Seems like everyone will manufacture a
crack-brained theory to get a grant and some PR these
days. (See my earlier article re: Jack Horner and his
illogical T-Rex theory - which I emailed to him and he
has yet to reply to).
My comment to these researchers is as follows:
a. Look up the concept of "Occam's Razor" (ie. the
simplest explanation is the most likely to be correct).
b. My educated layman's take: Most dinosaurs were
wiped out almost instantly following likely, multiple,
and simultaneous asteroid impacts (Chixculub -
confirmed; Off the coast of India - unconfirmed but
probable - and twice as big as the Yucatan impact
c. Any survisors froze to death during the global
winter/freeze, which lasted at least 2-3 months per
studies of a bog at the K-T boundary in Britain..
d. Disruption of photosynthesis may well have lasted a
year or more, finishing off even those specimens able
to survive the cold (if any).
e. The reason that birds/mammals/crocodilians/turtles
survived can best be hypothesized as follows:
1. Mammals - Small furry scavengers could have holed
up underground, warming themselves by huddling together
- scavenging the mass of carrion left over following
the impact would have gotten them through the winter...
2. Birds - Small feather-insulated creatures that could
likely have survived using a similar strategy
postulated for mammals above - plus - they could fly to
find food, making this task even easier, given the
global mass of carrion that would have lasted for quite
a while due to the initial cold temperatures...
3. Crocodillians/turtles - this one is a no-brainer;
crocs have been known to go a YEAR without eating;
additionally they can hibernate through the cold (or
hot spells - see today's Crocs of the Sahara oases
which spend most of the year hibernating until the rare
rains bring the water back). Ditto for turtles. Like
mammals they could stay underground (or in burrows like
birds) til the conditions became friendlier.
In short, the "dumb ole' dinos" actually died out
because they were the most advanced warm-blooded
critters of their time - they needed massive amounts of
food on a weekly basis, and were thus the most
vulnerable when that supply was cut off (plus they
could not survive the initial world-wide equivalent of
a Hydrogen bomb shock wave by hiding underground.)
That's my take.
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