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Some Large Dinosaurs Survived the K-T Extinction 269

Posted by kdawson
from the hid-under-a-rock dept.
mmmscience sends along coverage from the Examiner on evidence that some dinosaurs survived the extinction event(s) at the end of the Cretaceous period. Here is the original journal article. "A US paleontologist is challenging one of the field's greatest theories: the mass extinction of dinosaurs at the end of the Cretaceous period. Jim Fassett, a paleontologist who holds an emeritus position at the US Geological Survey, recently published a paper in Palaeontologia Electronica with evidence that points to a pocket of dinosaurs that somehow survived in remote parts New Mexico and Colorado for up to half a million years past the end of the Cretaceous period. If this theory holds up, these dinosaurs would be the only ones that made it to the Paleocene Age."
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Some Large Dinosaurs Survived the K-T Extinction

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  • Cavemen? (Score:5, Funny)

    by SultanCemil (722533) on Wednesday April 29, 2009 @05:04AM (#27756775)
    So does that mean skimpily clad cavewomen really *did* ride around on dinosaurs? mmmm...
    • Re:Cavemen? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by TapeCutter (624760) * on Wednesday April 29, 2009 @05:29AM (#27756905) Journal
      "So does that mean skimpily clad cavewomen really *did* ride around on dinosaurs? mmmm..."

      No, but the good news is modern technology has brought the internet into our caves and in the time it takes to post this comment another 2 "Cave chicks go Rex riding" websites will have been created.

      As for TFA, interesting but only just outside the uranium dating error bars and no mention of the error margin in the strike date ~65mya. No mention of a KT boundry at the site that is clearly below the fossils. There is very strong evidence that insects were wiped out across the Americas for over a million years, so I think a bit more extrodinary evidence is required to belive a band of dinosours somehow survived in a "lost valley".
      • Re:Cavemen? (Score:5, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 29, 2009 @06:14AM (#27757107)

        not a lost valley, but the Great Valley, noob.

        xoxoxo,
        Littlefoot

      • Re:Cavemen? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 29, 2009 @06:31AM (#27757177)

        There is very strong evidence that insects were wiped out across the Americas for over a million years, so I think a bit more extrodinary evidence is required to belive a band of dinosours somehow survived in a "lost valley".

        More evidence is always good, but once you actually start to think about it, "a small population of some dinosaurs survived in remote areas until it eventually petered out" is actually more plausible than "every single last dinosaur died at once in a gigantic catastrophe that nevertheless was not large enough to affect other animals such as mammals to the same extent".

        Many kinds of animals survived, after all. Why shouldn't dinosaurs have, too? I'm certainly not saying they must have, but just on the face of things, it seems more likely that their extinction was gradual and drawn-out over a long period of time. (And yes, I know the K-T extinction is not thought to have happened in the blink of an eye, anyway, but you know what I mean.)

        • Re:Cavemen? (Score:5, Funny)

          by meyekul (1204876) on Wednesday April 29, 2009 @07:37AM (#27757507) Homepage
          The irony is as soon as they step out of the valley, they drop their eye glasses and shatter them on the rocks.
        • Re:Cavemen? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by AlecC (512609) <aleccawley@gmail.com> on Wednesday April 29, 2009 @07:40AM (#27757517)

          Many kinds of animals survived, after all. Why shouldn't dinosaurs have, too?

          Basically, size. The dinosaurs were all largeish - turkey-sized or bigger - with the exception of thos who seem to have evolved into birds, and may have been much smaller because of the nifty invention of feathers. The only mammals at the time were small, shrew-like animals. It is not unreasonable to think that small beasts could survive, scavenging of the dead big beasts, where big beasts could not.

          • Re:Cavemen? (Score:5, Funny)

            by BigBlueOx (1201587) on Wednesday April 29, 2009 @10:04AM (#27758797)

            The dinosaurs were all largeish - turkey-sized or bigger - with the exception of thos who seem to have evolved into birds, and may have been much smaller because of the nifty invention of feathers.

            Well, it seems from the latest I've read on these things that paleontologists are now a-thinkin that a lot of the big dinosaurs had feathers too. In fact one article I read said that it was quite possible that T-Rex himself looked "like a big chick".

            I remember that article because the image of a 60 foot high "chick" with fluffy baby-feathers coated with the rotting blood and entrails of its victims and flesh-caked teeth the size of stalactites is one that haunts my dreams to this day.

            Oh. You want cites? Ah.

            Look! A bunny! Look at the bunny! (runs away)

        • Re:Cavemen? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by TapeCutter (624760) * on Wednesday April 29, 2009 @09:06AM (#27758131) Journal
          It's the place where the bones were found that is remarkable, obviously some things survived somewhere on the planet and evolved into birds, humans, etc. However America was closest to the impact and the KT-boundry in N America is preserved in the rock as a layer of tiny glass beads (vaporised sand) that covers the entire continent. The only thing in the American fossil record for a couple of million years after the hit is an abundance of plants and some marine animals.

          To find a bunch of dinosaurs that survived what the entire insect population could not, is an extrodinary claim. However I don't think the scientists themselves are explicitly making this claim, I think they are just reporting their evidence and asking "how could this be?".
        • Re:Cavemen? (Score:5, Informative)

          by flyingsquid (813711) on Wednesday April 29, 2009 @11:43AM (#27760003)
          More evidence is always good, but once you actually start to think about it, "a small population of some dinosaurs survived in remote areas until it eventually petered out" is actually more plausible than "every single last dinosaur died at once in a gigantic catastrophe that nevertheless was not large enough to affect other animals such as mammals to the same extent". Many kinds of animals survived, after all. Why shouldn't dinosaurs have, too? I'm certainly not saying they must have, but just on the face of things, it seems more likely that their extinction was gradual and drawn-out over a long period of time. (And yes, I know the K-T extinction is not thought to have happened in the blink of an eye, anyway, but you know what I mean.)

          It's a bit telling that the study is published in an obscure web-only paleontology journal called "Palaeontologica Electronica". I'm not saying that good work can't be published in obscure journals, but I would argue that if you had really strong evidence for post-Cretaceous dinosaurs, you wouldn't publish it in a journal that nobody's ever heard of. You'd be publishing in Nature, Science, or PNAS. That suggests that he published here because he didn't have a lot of options, because the scientific community was pretty unreceptive to evidence presented in this study. Obviously, the conventional wisdom isn't everything. Geologists hated the idea of continental drift, and the asteroid impact hypothesis got a very cold reception before the Chicxulub crater was found. But it's worth asking whether the evidence here is any good or not.

          First off, it's not as if they've suddenly discovered dinosaurs where nobody expected them. Paleontologists have known for decades that these rock beds contain dinosaurs (as well as typical Cretaceous mammals). It's just that everyone else has always interpreted these rocks as being of Cretaceous age, rather than post-Cretaceous. What he's doing is arguing that the rocks are older than we thought.

          Second, what's his evidence for saying these are post-Cretaceous rocks? The best evidence would be a marker bed- if you could show that a skeleton lay above the iridium layer formed by the fallout of the asteroid, then it would be pretty much unrefutable. However, the iridium layer has *not* been recognized in this area. The second best evidence would be a layer of volcanic ash which can be dated using radioactive dating. There are no ashes under the bones which are younger than 65.5 million years old (the date of the impact). In fact all the ashes under the bones are around 75-73 million years old. So his evidence is the pollen grains. He says they look like post-Cretaceous pollen, not Cretaceous pollen. That doesn't seem terribly convincing in my mind. Given that the mammals seen in the same rocks are pretty clearly Cretaceous type mammals, the fossil evidence is contradictory here. His other evidence is something called magnetostratigraphy- the Earth's magnetic poles reverse every few hundred thousand or million years, with series of normal and reversed polarities. If you can match up a series of polarity changes, you can *sometimes* figure out how old the rocks are. But it's not a very precise method, and it's a bit tricky to figure out where a particular sequence going "normal-reversed-normal-reversed" fits into the geological record. It's a bit like trying to figure out the time and date by whether your neighbor has his house lights on or off, or whether the trash has been picked up recently or not.

          In short, it would take a lot more than this one paper to overturn the consensus that has resulted from one hundred years of scientific research. I mean, if someone published an experiment tomorrow saying that Einstein was wrong, what would your reaction be? To reject Einstein? Or to think that the experimenter might have screwed up? Currently, the bulk of the evidence says that the extinction took place 65.5 million years ago, and that (with the exception of birds) the dinosaurs didn't make it.

      • in the time it takes to post this comment another 2 "Cave chicks go Rex riding" websites will have been created.

        I think you mean "2 Girls 1 Rex"

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by StarkRG (888216)

        Insects are easier to kill than dinosaurs. Or, so I assume as I've never actually tried to kill a dinosaur by smacking it with a newspaper.

    • by RuBLed (995686)
      If it existed there must have been a porn of it.
    • Maybe. (Score:3, Informative)

      by denzacar (181829)

      Jesus sure did. [flickr.com]

    • Re:Cavemen? (Score:5, Informative)

      by nephridium (928664) on Wednesday April 29, 2009 @07:54AM (#27757589)

      So does that mean skimpily clad cavewomen really *did* ride around on dinosaurs? mmmm...

      Not really. It says they made it to the "Paleocene", i.e. the epoch adjacent to the Cretaceous. To have meet any cavemen they'd have had to survive through the Eocene, Oligocene, Miocene all the way to the Pleistocene era. That would still be around 60 million years.

      I also highly doubt cavemen (or cavewomen for that matter) had the skill or technology to time travel back to the Paleocene. Afaik only genetically enhanced laboratory mice can do that.

      • Re:Cavemen? (Score:5, Funny)

        by camperdave (969942) on Wednesday April 29, 2009 @08:48AM (#27757959) Journal
        To have meet any cavemen they'd have had to survive through the Eocene, Oligocene, Miocene all the way to the Pleistocene era.

        So what you're saying is that they didn't make the 'cene.
      • Re:Cavemen? (Score:5, Funny)

        by gtall (79522) on Wednesday April 29, 2009 @09:20AM (#27758283)

        Bingo, just to fix the time line a bit, humans were thought to have split from apes roughly 6-7 million years ago...except for some valued coworkers here.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        I also highly doubt cavemen (or cavewomen for that matter) had the skill or technology to time travel back to the Paleocene. Afaik only genetically enhanced laboratory mice can do that.

        The Neanderthals did.

        However, they decided that it was easier to use their time machines to go back in time and settle on a continent which is now Antarctica. They built cities underground so that they could avoid disturbing their own ancestors as they continued to develop. Just when the asteroid that wiped out the Dinosaur

  • by GordonCopestake (941689) on Wednesday April 29, 2009 @05:08AM (#27756789) Journal
    only I call them "chickens".
  • by Corporate Troll (537873) on Wednesday April 29, 2009 @05:10AM (#27756797) Homepage Journal
    They're called "birds".... Duh! ;-)
  • by Smivs (1197859) <smivs@smivsonline.co.uk> on Wednesday April 29, 2009 @05:11AM (#27756803) Homepage Journal

    They are still with us, working for some IT departments. Have you never seen an IEsixosaurus?

  • Other findings. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Mr2cents (323101) on Wednesday April 29, 2009 @05:16AM (#27756825)

    Just a day ago, I read another article claiming that the impact predates the extinction event by 300000 years [spacedaily.com]. The last thing hasn't been said about the dinosaurs, that's for sure. I really like the way David Polly puts it in the article (the one linked to by /.): "Finding conclusive evidence, however, is a difficult matter when the crime scene is 65 million years old".

    • Re:Other findings. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Burnhard (1031106) on Wednesday April 29, 2009 @05:26AM (#27756893)
      I wrote a paper on this many years ago, concluding that the KT event caused extinctions in species already in decline. For example, the Ammonoidea were becoming less numerous for ten million years before the impact. But previous posters are quite correct, the Dinosaurs are survived by Birds!
      • by flewp (458359)
        This is something I was thinking about yesterday when watching something on TV about the extinction of some of the huge mammals. Is it possible that quite a few of the dinosaurs survived the asteroid impact for quite awhile, but were slowly led to extinction by the more adaptive animals such as birds* and mammals out competing them? A lot of the stuff I've read always makes it seems like happened in a blink of the eye, but I've wondered if it could have been much more gradual than is often implied.

        *
        • No, all the evidence suggests it was in a blink of an eye. Also, there's no reason to think that mammals were "more adaptive" than dinosaurs (if anything, it was the other way around!).
      • Re:Other findings. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by nyctopterus (717502) on Wednesday April 29, 2009 @06:59AM (#27757315) Homepage

        The problem with the "already in decline" arguments is that there are statistical effects [wikipedia.org] that make sudden extinctions look gradual. This has pretty much been demonstrated to be the case for Late Cretaceous dinosaurs (I don't know about ammonites).

        People want to cling to the K/T extinction being a mystery for some reason. It just isn't anymore. If you want a good mystery, the Permian-Triassic extinction event [wikipedia.org] is bigger, and still (relatively) unexplained.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Jeff DeMaagd (2015)

          That's not the whole argument.

          The show I saw pointed out that there were fewer and fewer fossils being found the closer they get to K-T event. The claim was that there are twice as many known fossils 5-6 million years before than there are 2-3 million years before. I don't know if your suggested statistical side effect explains that.

          And they pointed out that lots of frog species seemed to survive pretty easily even though they are very sensitive to acid rain, forest fires and other such things that would

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by radtea (464814)

            And they pointed out that lots of frog species seemed to survive pretty easily even though they are very sensitive to acid rain, forest fires and other such things that would have happened if the K-T impact was the primary explanation of extinction.

            We know from relatively solid physical evidence what the size and composition of the KT impact object was. We know its effects were world-wide, and we know those effects would have caused acid rain, forest fires, etc.

            What we do not know is how the world-wide fro

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by nyctopterus (717502)
            The fossil record goes through good and bad patches. Very few people suggests this actually corresponds to real biodiversity. The second-to-last (Campanian) stage of the Late Cretaceous is very good in a lot of places, whereas the stages both earlier (Santonian) and later (Maastrichtian) are not so good. In fact, the Maatstrichtian deposits show more diversity than any pre-Campanian deposit in the Late Cretaceous. What we are probably looking at is a spectacularly good stage for preservation in the Campan
        • Re:Other findings. (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Bob-taro (996889) on Wednesday April 29, 2009 @09:19AM (#27758271)

          People want to cling to the K/T extinction being a mystery for some reason. It just isn't anymore.

          "There appears to have been some mass extinctions around this time. A huge asteroid impact could cause that. Here's evidence of a huge asteroid impact around that time. Case closed."

          It seems that in some branches of science, we accept "plausible" as "proven". Sure there may be some pretty good evidence that an asteroid impact caused mass extinctions, but are there any other explanations? Here's a case where someone points out some data inconsistent with the prevalent theory, and we say, "it doesn't NECESSARILY disprove the theory, so we can ignore it". In other branches of science, we would strive for, "we can ABSOLUTELY explain this data", or we'd have to change or qualify the theory.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by nyctopterus (717502)

            Sorry, but it really seems like you're talking out of your arse. You do not prove things in any science, you come up with falsifiable theories, and test them out. The more falsifiable the better. It is also clear that you are not at all familiar with the research in the area. The bolide impact theory has a lot of interface with the data, and is immensely falsifiable. It has enormous explanatory power, and is not at this moment falsified by any data.

            Could it be wrong? Sure it could! But coming up with little

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by jellomizer (103300)

        Unfortunatly a lot of people don't like that idea. Not because of the science but because it puts us an other chip down. So most people are willing to accept evolution, but they take comfort their ancestors who resembled mice were in some way so much more superior then those giant monsters, and could survive a mass extinction while those huge monsters couldn't. We are just getting to the point where we can grasp that some dinosaurs evolved into birds, however we kinda are wishing they were more birdlike b

    • "Finding conclusive evidence, however, is a difficult matter when the crime scene is 65 million years old".

      Two words - Horatio Caine.

  • But of course (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DynaSoar (714234) on Wednesday April 29, 2009 @05:16AM (#27756831) Journal

    "some dinosaurs survived the extinction event(s)"

    If some dinosaurs hadn't survived it/them, we wouldn't have birds.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      The subject of the summary says "some large dinosaurs..." (emphasis obviously mine) which makes your objection (and all the other ones just like it) fucking stupid. Don't quote (or make up quotes) out of context to serve your ego.

    • by V!NCENT (1105021)
      And what about the crocodiles?
  • Alas, some small dinosaurs that made it to the Pleoscene Age that has now ended, are also now extinct.
  • Surprising? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TFer_Atvar (857303) on Wednesday April 29, 2009 @05:20AM (#27756855) Homepage
    After reading the abstract, it sounds very interesting. I do have one big question: Do the remains show any difference from similar specimens prior to the K-T boundary? When you have small, isolated populations, you tend to get rapid evolution to suit the species to that specific area. If this small group of animals survived in an isolated fashion, I'd expect some sort of physiological drift from the mainline in order to compensate for their unique area.

    If they don't show much difference, I have to wonder what, if anything, this says about the K-T event itself; whether it created a long-term climatological change in addition to a catastrophic change evidenced by the K-T geologic boundary. I'm also intrigued by the fact that these specimens were found in Colorado/New Mexico, which is pretty darn close to the best impact site candidate. I'd expect any animals that survived to be much further away.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MichaelSmith (789609)

      I'm also intrigued by the fact that these specimens were found in Colorado/New Mexico, which is pretty darn close to the best impact site candidate. I'd expect any animals that survived to be much further away.

      I suppose its possible that they migrated there from further away. I wonder if the impact created opportunities for animals further away to move towards the impact site, similar to the way floods can improve the fertility of soil.

    • Re:Surprising? (Score:4, Informative)

      by smoker2 (750216) on Wednesday April 29, 2009 @07:25AM (#27757437) Homepage Journal
      The K-T boundary is not a simple line defining before and after. It is a phenomenon that took place over time - the estimated occurrence of the event was 65.5 (+||- 0.3)Ma. That is a 600,000 year margin, and when you consider that the earliest human species (read as - only just not monkeys) were at the most 2 million years old, it is not unreasonable to theorise that the causative event did not represent a definite cut off point for any species. Things can change a lot in 600K years. And it is also a dangerous habit to take estimated figures and then apply them to suit your own hypothesis too rigorously. Chinese whispers and all that. As somebody else posted further up, it would be more of a surprise to NOT find specimens outside of the accepted period.
  • by rts008 (812749) on Wednesday April 29, 2009 @05:25AM (#27756885) Journal

    Yes, some of us did survive the "alleged 'K-T' Extinction"! And your suppositions bring us *much* hilarity.

    Our day has come!
    Oh, yes...try and laugh, humans; But in bitterness you shall weep!

    We have usurped your world's economy with 'Flintstone's Vitamins'!
    Be prepared to bow down to your new Tasty Dinosaur Overlords!

    signed, Dino.
    *sees Fat Freddie, and runs for driveway* "Yaap!1 Yip! Yappy-kiyay, motherfscker!"-fires AT-4 against Fred-n-Barney*

    • by Mr2cents (323101) on Wednesday April 29, 2009 @05:31AM (#27756923)

      Everyone who reads Dilbert already knows this. They're hiding behind the couch.

      • by rts008 (812749)

        The couch, while being shaped/passed off as a cake, is....a lie!!
        So, none of you have had the 'couch cover' working as you had assumed.
        Start running, the timer has started.
        *note: if you wait for the couch to explode...you are sadly, way too late*

        BTW, don't fsck with a Real Engineer(tm)! (not talking about software/electrical-pseudo/wannabe engineers...how lame!)

        Oh, careful where you jump to avoid the booby-trapped couch that is rigged***....;-)....[don't bother wasting inadequate brain-power on what's beyon

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          Hide behind your couch, Dino!...Heh! Heh! Oh, yeah, you are perfectly safe! Heh! Heh!
          Circa:1979-1980 in E. Berlin...Good Riddance, you STASI bastards!

          Yow! Zippy, is that you?

  • by Dr_Snugglebunny (1543523) on Wednesday April 29, 2009 @05:32AM (#27756927)
    2 points to be aware of: 1. The journal this is published in is not held in high esteem by most paleontologists. This may be telling; I imagine the paper was rejected by several other journals before ending up here. Peer review seems a little light at PE. That doesn't mean it's wrong, but calls for caution. 2. Everything hangs on the authors' interpretation of the age of the sediments; the bones don't seem reworked (i.e. moved around from older sediments), which is one source of error, but he could be wrong with the radiometric age estimation, which even in the best cases has a moderate margin of error. BUT it remains an interesting question of any dinosaurs survived long past the extinction; most of our picture of the K-T event comes from central/western North America, so who knows what happened elsewhere.
  • by VinylRecords (1292374) on Wednesday April 29, 2009 @05:37AM (#27756951)

    I mean geez people haven't you been keeping up with the latest issues of Creationism Quarterly!
    This stuff is "Peer-reviewed by degreed scientists" it says so right on the website!
    It has "Scholarly articles representing the major scientific disciplines" scientific disciplines like: biology, chemistry, theology, creationism! Duh!
    "Emphasis on scientific evidence supporting: intelligent design, a recent creation, and a catastrophic worldwide flood"!

    http://www.creationresearch.org/crsq.html [creationresearch.org] /sarcasmbrainmelting

    • Holy shit, batman. I thought you were joking. It turns out it was reality tickling my funny-bone.

      I especially "like" the quote "Emphasis on scientific evidence supporting: [...]". They're saying up-front "we're here to give you a skewed and biased impression of how the real world works, independent of whether the real world supports our biases".

      I can rephrase their bulleted list, too:

      "For 45 years(1), we've been spamming the whole world(3), sullying the name of all major sciences(4) and cheating quality control systems(2) in order to convert you to our preconceived notions(6)."

      ("(n)" refers to the nth bullet)

  • by Chrisq (894406) on Wednesday April 29, 2009 @06:23AM (#27757149)

    Some Large Dinosaurs Survived the K-T Extinction

    Abybody who knows CowboyNeal would see this as old news

  • metastable climate (Score:4, Informative)

    by dltaylor (7510) on Wednesday April 29, 2009 @06:45AM (#27757233)

    It continues to dismay me how many really don't get it. The impact, or impact+major vulcanism (BTW, what order were those in, and could the impact have pinged the earth hard enough to initiate a major volcanic event at whatever the interval?), didn't kill the dinosaurs by direct effect. They didn't all die in a week or a month, or, even a few decades, centuries, or millennia, most likely.

    What happened was a significant enough change in climate in nearly all habitats, over a short enough period of time, that the vast majority of major fauna, particularly dinosaurs, and a lot of the flora simply could not adapt to the new conditions, nor migrate to a location that suited them (nor build bubble cities in which to weather the change). If the birth/death ratio slips below 1 long enough the species is extinct. If it is only slightly less than 1 because the available nutrition is not quite good enough, or there's enough hard dust around to reduce lung efficiency, or the temperatures don't allow eggs to brood quite as well, or some such, then it can take a VERY long time to kill off populations in the tens of millions. Small regions of "better", if not quite "good enough", might easily sustain a very slowly declining ecosystem for hundreds of millennia.

    Bottom line, though, is that there are a LOT of dinosaur fossils below the iridium-enriched layer and VERY few, and those not for very long, above it.

    • Where are you getting your information? I expect what you say is true of small animals, but nearly all non-avian dinosaurs at the end of the Cretaceous were large (large=bigger than a cat, in this context). They almost certainly would have died out in the weeks and months following the impact. I'm not aware of any confirmed non-avian dinosaurs alive after the iridium layer.
  • I would have thought this was obvious. The lack of fossils after a certain point in time only shows that there are no fossils. You cannot logically infer anything else from this, other than the fact that you haven't found any newer ones. I'm not saying they didn't die out when they claim, but trying to "prove" a concrete date is going to be neigh on impossible. The reason we haven't find any newer fossils could be for several reasons, they could have all died out, or it could be no more of them were fossi
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by nyctopterus (717502)
      That would be true if the sample is small (which to a certain extent it is). We will never "prove" (proof is for mathematicians) that a bunch of things went extinct on a certain date, but we can built a compelling statistical likelihood.
  • by erroneus (253617) on Wednesday April 29, 2009 @07:03AM (#27757339) Homepage

    A few days back, the [god-damned-mother-frikken] History Channel did several hours on predictions of the future and more specifically, December 12, 2012 and I got sucked right into it. By the time their series finished for the night, I was wrecked inside with this horrible feeling of doom. (They put together these very compelling presentations with pictures and music...really sets a dramatic mood! and when you are staying up too late... well even the most resistant people can fall victim I think.)

    In any case, the most interesting theory surrounding the projected end of the world day is that the rotational axis of the earth will change resulting in massive geologic events. What's more, they suggested that the earth had gone through this kind of change before and was a potential cause of the mass extinction events in the past.

    I don't claim to know much about all that, but I have to remind myself that this was the FIRST time I had heard about rotational axis shifting (but not the first time I had heard of magnetic polar shifting) and definitely the first time I had heard of rotational axis shifting being cited as the cause of mass extinction events.

    Who knows more about this than I do? Got anything to debunk or verify what I recall from late-night TV watching?

    • 12th Dec 2012 ... end of the long cycle count in the Mayan calendar - A time of celebration and considered to be a time of change (like most cycle ends in the calendar) but also considered lucky to witness, research indicated the Mayans considered that nothing significant would happen on this date, except the next cycle would begin, and history would start to repeat from 11 August 3114 BC so expect people to be building some large buildings in stone (Stonehenge, Newgrange, ĦaÄar Qim etc ...)

    • by Lumpy (12016)

      You think that gave you doom.. Go play single player story mode in Frontlines:fuel of war..

      I'm sitting there listening to the cut scenes going... "Wow", they hit some stuff pretty well on pure coincidence alone!

      I'm waiting for global World war three. I got my headshots pretty consistent, and If I get hit I just need to hide for 15-20 seconds to heal back up.

      and yes, I give a old video game prophecy as much credence in accuracy as some futurist-doom fluff piece on Discovery Channel.

  • .... Congress evidence enough of this?
  • As with most articles lately, it'll probably emerge that quantum mechanics is behind the survival of these select few dinosaurs.
  • Wait a second... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DrWho520 (655973) on Wednesday April 29, 2009 @08:10AM (#27757685) Journal
    If they eventually died out because the K-T event drastically changed the environment or the K-T event reduced a species genetic diversity below the point necessary to sustain its population, did that species really survive the K-T event?

    If you live through a bomb blast but die 3 days later because of shrapnel in you liver, did you really survive the bomb blast?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by immakiku (777365)
      No but if you eventually produced children and they eventually produced children before your liver kicked it from shrapnel, then you survived it.
  • by jameskojiro (705701) on Wednesday April 29, 2009 @11:10AM (#27759627) Journal

    Here is the theory,

    Scientists in the 1980's Wondered why no Dinosaurs after 65 MYA, so they found the K-T event impact crater and assumed it was the event that killed off all of the Dinosaurs.

    So later in 2040's when we invent Time Travel, people of course want to go back and see the dinosaurs, so they all go back to the day before the K-T impact and watch the dinosaurs and they figure, hey since they will be relatively extinct tomorrow then why not shoot them and take a few trophy's back with them, plus they are good eatin'....

    So by the next day when the Asteroid impacts the Earth most all of the dinosaurs have been hunted to extinction in one day from all of those time travelers going back to the same day before the Asteroid. A few pockets of Dinosaurs Survived the massive hunt because the time travel machines don't work quite right in some areas of on the earth due to magnetite deposits in certain areas. Those few dinos that survived the day before massive hunt and the Asteroid impact didn't have enough genetic diversity to survive and thus died off a little after 65 MYA.

    So we killed off the Dinosaurs to make true the extinction we have always had in our fossil record.

    The good news is that besides hunting they took some live Dinosaurs forward to the 2040's and they are being bred to replace chicken which have gone extinct due to the avian flu.

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