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Re: Prehistoric atmosphere

There is not one "atmosphere" for the Mesozoic: it was a very long
interval of time. Remember, Tyrannosaurus is closer to us in time than to
Stegosaurus, and Stegosaurus was only halfway back from Tyrannosaurus to

Recent estimates suggest that Triassic and earlier Jurassic atmospheres
had lower oxygen than present, but that mid-Jurassic through Cretaceous
atmospheres were higher than present but not as high as the Carboniferous
(where pO2 may have reached 31-35%.

On Fri, April 13, 2012 7:15 pm, tyazbeck@comcast.net wrote:
> OK, I've got a real question now! Has anyone heard of the idea that the
> atmosphere during the Mesozoic was unbreathable? for instance, if I went
> into a time machine and travelled back 150 million years, should I pack an
> oxygen mask? And would a dinosaur transported to our own time suffocate in
> the air we currently breathe?

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
Fax: 301-314-9661

Faculty Director, Science & Global Change Program, College Park Scholars
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