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Re: The New Papers Before Christmas
David Marjanovic writes:
Thus, this test provides no support for a possible role of
ionizing radiation in the K-T extinction event.
For that, they'd need a lot of material from a very short timespan...
[Speculation mode initiated]
I'd think the most damaging effects of an increase in ionizing radiation
would be to embryos in non-buried eggs, rather than to adult animals. Crocs,
lizards and turtles tend to be egg buriers, and small pregnant mammals may
have avoided any possible radiation increases if they were nocturnal
burrowers. Dinosaurs that only half-buried their eggs, or relied entirely on
direct incubation (leaving them exposed when mum wasn't around), may have
experienced higher egg mortality rates if ionizing radiation had increased.
Tree- or burrow-nesting birds may have fared better.
[Speculation mode ended]
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