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Thread: The Speculative Dinosaur Project

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    Arrow The Speculative Dinosaur Project

    http://www.bowdoin.edu/~dbensen/Spec/Index.html


    Roughly 65 million years ago, the Chicxulub bolide, a mountain of rock 6 miles across, struck the Earth. The asteroid's origins are unknown, but fate had tied the destiny of our home, Earth, to that of the rock. When the rock struck, our Earth was changed forever.

    The impact left several legacies: the enormous Chicxulub crater just off the coast of the Yucatán Peninsula, a layer of iridium-rich clay that forms the boundary between Mesozoic and Cenozoic in the Earth's rock strata, and the complete extinction of all of Earth's large animal species.

    In short, the impact marked the end of the Mesozoic with the great Cretaceous-Tertiary (or K-T) extinction. The impact was by no means the only calamity to befall the creatures of Earth during the turbulent end of the Mesozoic, but it was the final straw, ushering in a new era in the evolution of vertebrate life on Earth. Many groups of organisms, the ammonoid cephalopods, the bennettitale plants, and the enantiornithian birds were completely obliterated by this, the greatest extinction in over 100 million years. Others, like the great dinosaurs, pulled through with only a tiny fraction of their former diversity left intact, never to be regained. The mammals, those furry, lactating therapsids, the creatures that had lost the original battle for ascendancy after the last great extinction to the dinosaurs, suddenly found all the doors open and diversification beckoning.

    In the wake of the K-T extinction, mammals exploded into dazzling array of giant forms. Within 10 million years, almost all of the modern groups of mammals (and then some) had already appeared. The mammals conquered the land, The water, and even the air (although the last remaining dinosaurs, the birds, are unquestionably dominant in at least the last of these niches and actually possess more species than all other amniotes combined). Today, furry creatures occupy every continent and, only 65 million years after the asteroid struck, have produced organisms of astonishing variety, from blue whales to shrews, from hyenas to humans. The (non-avian) dinosaurs, once the largest land animals on the planet, have been reduced to mere stone and imagination.

    But what if none of this history was true?

    What if the rock had missed?

    One can speculate.

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    Post Re: The Speculative Dinosaur Project

    For some reason I have no interest in Dinosaurs. As a young boy I used to know a lot about them and all about the good old pre-neanderthal period.(for being young)

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    Post Re: The Speculative Dinosaur Project

    The Gargantuan Reptilian organisms also interested me when I was young (6-9 years.). My favorite out of the many Dinosaurs was the Ankylosaurus which was protected on the top from head to tail. The Body had a whole shell, while the tail had attached spike bones.

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    Post Re: The Speculative Dinosaur Project

    Quote Originally Posted by Frans_Jozef
    http://www.bowdoin.edu/~dbensen/Spec/Index.html


    Roughly 65 million years ago, the Chicxulub bolide, a mountain of rock 6 miles across, struck the Earth. The asteroid's origins are unknown, but fate had tied the destiny of our home, Earth, to that of the rock. When the rock struck, our Earth was changed forever.

    The impact left several legacies: the enormous Chicxulub crater just off the coast of the Yucatán Peninsula, a layer of iridium-rich clay that forms the boundary between Mesozoic and Cenozoic in the Earth's rock strata, and the complete extinction of all of Earth's large animal species.

    In short, the impact marked the end of the Mesozoic with the great retaceous-Tertiary (or K-T) extinction. The impact was by no means the only calamity to befall the creatures of Earth during the turbulent end of the Mesozoic, but it was the final straw, ushering in a new era in the evolution of vertebrate life on Earth. Many groups of organisms, the ammonoid cephalopods, the bennettitale plants, and the enantiornithian birds were completely obliterated by this, the greatest extinction in over 100 million years. Others, like the great dinosaurs, pulled through with only a tiny fraction of their former diversity left intact, never to be regained. The mammals, those furry, lactating therapsids, the creatures that had lost the original battle for ascendancy after the last great extinction to the dinosaurs, suddenly found all the doors open and diversification beckoning.

    In the wake of the K-T extinction, mammals exploded into dazzling array of giant forms. Within 10 million years, almost all of the modern groups of mammals (and then some) had already appeared. The mammals conquered the land, The water, and even the air (although the last remaining dinosaurs, the birds, are unquestionably dominant in at least the last of these niches and actually possess more species than all other amniotes combined). Today, furry creatures occupy every continent and, only 65 million years after the asteroid struck, have produced organisms of astonishing variety, from blue whales to shrews, from hyenas to humans. The (non-avian) dinosaurs, once the largest land animals on the planet, have been reduced to mere stone and imagination.

    But what if none of this history was true?

    What if the rock had missed?

    One can speculate.
    Very interesting stuff here - thanks for sharing!!

    Scientists now know that T-rex, the Raptor species, and many other dinosaurs had pelt or feathers. Makes one wonder about "plumed serpent" mythology.
    "Whatever is done from love always occurs beyond good and evil." - F. Nietzsche

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    Post Re: The Speculative Dinosaur Project

    Interesting stuff, however we don't know if this is true.

    Dinosaurs are actually my favourite subject

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    Post Re: The Speculative Dinosaur Project

    Quote Originally Posted by Vlad Cletus
    The Gargantuan Reptilian organisms also interested me when I was young (6-9 years.). My favorite out of the many Dinosaurs was the Ankylosaurus which was protected on the top from head to tail. The Body had a whole shell, while the tail had attached spike bones.
    That was the one that had the tail like a medieivel mace! Quite deadly.
    What's really curious is a few years back it seemed they'd actually discovered some intact biological material (non-fossilized) of a dinosaur..skin IIRC. For the longest time it had been declared such finds were impossible, yet that took place. I think there's still many surprises as to dinosaurs.
    Turman found a copy of The Graduate, and thought highly enough of the story that he made a movie he considered to be 90-percent faithful to the book.

    But Turman and director Mike Nichols made one key adaptation, changing the Braddocks from WASP-y blonde characters into a dark-haired, more ethnic-looking family.

    From NPR's Present at the Creation

    http://www.npr.org/programs/morning/features/patc/graduate/

    http://www.norcalmovies.com/TheGraduate/tg11.jpg

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    Post Re: The Speculative Dinosaur Project

    It missed some important points which are important to us now. For instance, before this meteor hit earth, mammals were mostly noctural creatures, living at higher elevations. The earth's atmosphere was almost 35% oxygen, as opposed to about 20% now. Temperature on earth was warmer with tropical-type plants extending much further North and South. Then the meteor struck 65 million years ago and the Mesozoic ended.

    Afterward, the whole planet changed. Earth became colder, with less oxygen. Plants which once grew only in the mountains moved downward and took the place of the tropical plants which retreated to the equatorial region. Mammals, who were used to the cold and difficulities of breathing at altitude, became the dominant animals. Dinosaurs had no diaphragm. They were simply unable to breath in this new world. The exceptions were the birds which were small and had powerful breathing muscles and somewhat adapted to altitude.

    Our modern earth is comparable to the mountainous earth of the Mesozoic. It has never bounced back and now is in a new state of equlibrium. Geographers and botanists might call this situation "sub-climax" but it is now a situation kept in balance by other geological forces described by Lovejoy.

    Why are we afraid of a little global warming?

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