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The Permo-Triassic extinction killed the dinosaurs, according to Fox News



http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2010/01/07/cataclysm-killed-dinos-taking-live
s-today/

"The tremendous volcanic eruption thought to be responsible for Earth's
largest mass extinction - which killed more than 70 percent of plants and
dinosaurs walking the planet 250 million years ago - is still taking lives
today."

Well, to be fair, 0 of the dinosaur individuals present in the latest
Permian survived into the earliest Triassic. Of course, 0 of the human
individuals present in the latest Permian survived into the earliest
Triassic, either.

But it gets... Er... Better (?):

"Scientists investigating the high incidence of lung cancer in China's Xuan
Wei County in Yunnan Province conclude that the problem lies with the coal
residents use to heat their homes. That coal was formed by the same
250-million-year-old giant volcanic eruption - termed a supervolcano - that
was responsible for the extinction of the dinosaurs. The high silica content
of that coal is interacting with volatile organic matter in the soil to
cause the unusually high rates of lung cancer."

Coal. Formed by a basaltic eruption.

(Okay, in the paper itself, it states that the coal formed at the P/Tr
boundary, but not that it was produced by volcanic action as such. The
particular coal seam seems to be comparable to the Z Coal in the Hell
Creek.)

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Email: tholtz@umd.edu   Phone: 301-405-4084
Office: Centreville 1216                        
Senior Lecturer, Vertebrate Paleontology
Dept. of Geology, University of Maryland
http://www.geol.umd.edu/~tholtz/
Fax: 301-314-9661               

Faculty Director, Earth, Life & Time Program, College Park Scholars
http://www.geol.umd.edu/~jmerck/eltsite/
Faculty Director, Science & Global Change Program, College Park Scholars
http://www.geol.umd.edu/sgc
Fax: 301-314-9843

Mailing Address:        Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
                        Department of Geology
                        Building 237, Room 1117
                        University of Maryland
                        College Park, MD 20742 USA