Re: NANFA-- Louisiana sinking and other thoughts
Thu, 6 Mar 2003 03:01:57 EST

In a message dated 3/6/03 12:29:51 AM Eastern Standard Time, writes:

Just to let everyone know out there the astroid theory is obsolete now
according to my biology profesor at washington state university. Fossil
evidence shows that the dinosaurs took around a million years to die out, not
days, or weeks, but lots of time, and why did the astroid kill the dinosaurs,
but not the early mammals of the time?

Luke, since I am not a paleontologist and therefore am not bound by any
perticular line of thinking I would like to point out that many people have
said the impact theory was obsolete only to later come back to the impact
because nothing else really explains what happened. Even the theory that
massive volcanic eruptions occurring in Asia were the real cause are now
highly suspected to have come about or at least been made much worse by the
impact. I personally thought the possibility of such a small impact could
cause volcanism on the other side of the planet was kinda stretching reality
but now they have the reasons pinned down pretty good. I think there was the
possibility that due to various environmental pressures the dinosaurs were
having problems. But it wasn't the first time they had suffered a decline and
sprung back. To say that even if the asteroid hadn't hit the earth that
dinosaurs were already dying off and doomed is simply unknowable. Almost
unthinkable when you consider the huge variety of animals that were
dinosaurs. No doubt they would have adapted to the new conditions in some
way. Maybe most of the really specialized
ones would have succumbed but dinosaurs were lords of this planet and had
ridden out many declines and come back more diversified than ever. personally
I think it was a triple whammy of extreme specialization, asteroid impact in
one of the worst possible places on the earth and subsequent release of
titanic volumes of lava around the world that gave them the coupe de grace.
No one of these would have done the job completely on animals that had
adapted to every large animal niche on the planet. I know I'll catch hell for
saying this but many times specialists get caught up in one idea so
completely they can't see the trees for the forest. Like the guy who says
that disease wiped out the dinosaurs. While I have no doubt disease played a
part in such a disturbed ecosystem it seems unlikely that disease could have
killed off all forms of dinosaurs without some other devastating problem
helping along. I think the dinosaurs were just unlucky enough to have
specialized in a direction that caused them to be vulnerable to the triple
whammy that occurred when the asteroid hit the earth. It's a lot like the guy
who says that T-Rex had to be a scavenger and then went to the comparison
with hyenas to prove his point that a land animals could live as a scavenger.
Never realizing that hyenas are no more pure scavengers than lions and in
some places lions scavenge hyena kills more often they kill for themselves.
As though a land animals could survive just by scavenging. The only animals
to day that are really scavengers are buzzards and their kind because it
takes a flier to cover enough ground to find enough dead things to live. I am
sure T-Rex scavenged just like any other predator will if it gets the chance.
But to think of such a large animals walking for weeks looking for a carcass
because he was too weak to kill on his own just doesn't hold up. (Actually I
kinda the idea that T-Rex may have specialized to running other predators off
their prey) And then there is the guy who say the triceratops only used his
horns as a sexual display and not for defense. Citing of course deer, moose
and elk as models. I guess he never had a bull toss him over a fence or saw
films of a rhino tearing up a land cruiser. If an animal has teeth he will
use them to kill when he is hungry and something fails to get out of his way
in time and a moose will make you think twice about the reason he has those
horns if you get too close much less what a rhino will do. The animals that
survived the Cretaceous Tertiary boundary were small, adapted to marginal
habitats, eaters of roots and tubers insectivores or able to estivate or
eaters of the small mammals. The result was small mammals, reptiles,
crocodilians and the wild card which was birds. If there was a tremendous
mass extinction today my money would be on the reptiles and rodents or maybe
if it was really bad insects surviving to repopulate the world. The large
mammals would be the first to go. Theories should be more inclusive when
dealing with something like the extinction of dinosaurs especially when you
figure in that they were not the only creatures that disappeared. Animals
that need specialized habitats will always be the first to go, especially
large highly specialized animals. Also many new fossil digs have shown that
the dinosaurs were at their peak of diversity when they left this world
except for small size animals which were taken by mammals. Just my opinion, I
could be wrong ;-)

/"Unless stated otherwise, comments made on this list do not necessarily
/ reflect the beliefs or goals of the North American Native Fishes
/ Association"
/ This is the discussion list of the North American Native Fishes Association
/ To subscribe, unsubscribe, or get help, send the word
/ subscribe, unsubscribe, or help in the body (not subject) of an email to
/ For a digest version, send the command to
/ instead.
/ For more information about NANFA, visit our web page,