Monday, November 12, 2007

What Really Killed The Dinosaurs?


Instead of being driven to extinction by death from above, dinosaurs might have ultimately been doomed by death from below in the form of monumental volcanic eruptions.

Volcanoes, that was my next guess.

The suggestion is based on new research that is part of a growing body of evidence indicating a space rock alone did not wipe out the giant reptiles.

It was a natural-sneak attack. The old you-go-high-I'll-go-low routine. First, a meteor smashes the Earth and then, to add insult to injury, a mega-eruption. Guess mother nature got sick of all that dinosaur shit.

The Age of Dinosaurs ended roughly 65 million years ago with the K-T or Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction event, which killed off all dinosaurs save those that became birds, as well as roughly half of all species on the planet, including pterosaurs.

Boy, we could really use another one of those events right about now. I'd say something that kills off about 96% of the worlds population would be good. You know, like a do-over.

The prime suspect in this ancient murder mystery is an asteroid or comet impact, which left a vast crater at Chicxulub on the coast of Mexico.

This asteroid or comet is believed to still be in hiding in the tribal region of Pakistan.

Another leading culprit is a series of colossal volcanic eruptions that occurred between 63 million to 67 million years ago. These created the gigantic Deccan Traps lava beds in India, whose original extent may have covered as much as 580,000 square miles (1.5 million square kilometers), or more than twice the area of Texas.

This is why I'm still out on the global warming thing. I'm not saying it doesn't exist and we shouldn't take steps towards treating our planet a little less like it stole our bikes, I'm just saying today it was fucking cold out and how can I trust scientists to understand the future when they can't even get the past right. I mean, at least past events leave evidence.

Arguments over which disaster killed the dinosaurs often revolve around when each happened and whether extinctions followed. Previous work had only narrowed the timing of the Deccan eruptions to within 300,000 to 500,000 years of the extinction event.

These arguments often break out into brawls, mathematical quizzes and mass Star Trek conventions.


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