Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Study: Dinosaurs Died Within Hours After Asteroid Hit
University of Colorado News Center ^ | May 24, 2004

Posted on 07/08/2004 12:29:19 AM PDT by LibWhacker

According to new research led by a University of Colorado at Boulder geophysicist, a giant asteroid that hit the coast of Mexico 65 million years ago probably incinerated all the large dinosaurs that were alive at the time in only a few hours, and only those organisms already sheltered in burrows or in water were left alive.

The six-mile-in-diameter asteroid is thought to have hit Chicxulub in the Yucatan, striking with the energy of 100 million megatons of TNT, said chief author and Researcher Doug Robertson of the department of geological sciences and the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences. The "heat pulse" caused by re-entering ejected matter would have reached around the globe, igniting fires and burning up all terrestrial organisms not sheltered in burrows or in water, he said.

A paper on the subject was published by Robertson in the May-June issue of the Bulletin of the Geological Society of America. Co-authors include CU-Boulder Professor Owen Toon, University of Wyoming Professors Malcolm McKenna and Jason Lillegraven and California Academy of Sciences Researcher Sylvia Hope.

"The kinetic energy of the ejected matter would have dissipated as heat in the upper atmosphere during re-entry, enough heat to make the normally blue sky turn red-hot for hours," said Robertson. Scientists have speculated for more than a decade that the entire surface of the Earth below would have been baked by the equivalent of a global oven set on broil.

The evidence of terrestrial ruin is compelling, said Robertson, noting that tiny spheres of melted rock are found in the Cretaceous-Tertiary, or KT, boundary around the globe. The spheres in the clay are remnants of the rocky masses that were vaporized and ejected into sub-orbital trajectories by the impact.

A nearly worldwide clay layer laced with soot and extra-terrestrial iridium also records the impact and global firestorm that followed the impact.

The spheres, the heat pulse and the soot all have been known for some time, but their implications for survival of organisms on land have not been explained well, said Robertson. Many scientists have been curious about how any animal species such as primitive birds, mammals and amphibians managed to survive the global disaster that killed off all the existing dinosaurs.

Robertson and colleagues have provided a new hypothesis for the differential pattern of survival among land vertebrates at the end of the Cretaceous. They have focused on the question of which groups of vertebrates were likely to have been sheltered underground or underwater at the time of the impact.

Their answer closely matches the observed patterns of survival. Pterosaurs and non-avian dinosaurs had no obvious adaptations for burrowing or swimming and became extinct. In contrast, the vertebrates that could burrow in holes or shelter in water -- mammals, birds, crocodilians, snakes, lizards, turtles and amphibians -- for the most part survived.

Terrestrial vertebrates that survived also were exposed to the secondary effects of a radically altered, inhospitable environment. "Future studies of early Paleocene events on land may be illuminated by this new view of the KT catastrophe," said Robertson.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: archaeology; asteroid; catastrophism; crevolist; dinosaurs; economic; ggg; godsgravesglyphs; history; theory
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-150151-200201-210 next last

1 posted on 07/08/2004 12:29:20 AM PDT by LibWhacker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: LibWhacker
Scientists have speculated for more than a decade that the entire surface of the Earth below would have been baked by the equivalent of a global oven set on broil.

Sure, and the animals that burrowed underground or sheltered in water survived how? By eating what?

2 posted on 07/08/2004 12:35:00 AM PDT by freebilly (Vote Kerry-- A billion Muslims can't be wrong...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: LibWhacker

It's all true...it's science. I read it in a book.

(I, too, observed this same thing 65 million yrs ago)


3 posted on 07/08/2004 12:38:50 AM PDT by harbinger of doom (Don't be so open minded your brain falls out)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: freebilly

Burnt and rotting plant and animal matter, each other, etc. They survived it so obviously there was some food for them.


4 posted on 07/08/2004 12:39:55 AM PDT by LibWhacker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: LibWhacker

It looks like VELIKOVSKY's "Worlds In Collision" is being revisited!


5 posted on 07/08/2004 12:40:50 AM PDT by the_Watchman
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: harbinger of doom

There are two kinds of college students: science students and liberal arts imbeciles who can't make the grade.


6 posted on 07/08/2004 12:42:17 AM PDT by LibWhacker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: freebilly

And wouldn't that have killed every land plant?


7 posted on 07/08/2004 12:42:18 AM PDT by swilhelm73 (We always have been, we are, and I hope that we always shall be detested in France.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: the_Watchman

No, we don't need Velikovsky to see there are comets and asteroids out there.


8 posted on 07/08/2004 12:44:25 AM PDT by LibWhacker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: swilhelm73

You'd think so, but not necessarily.


9 posted on 07/08/2004 12:47:11 AM PDT by LibWhacker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: LibWhacker; RadioAstronomer; PatrickHenry
The "heat pulse" caused by re-entering ejected matter would have reached around the globe, igniting fires and burning up all terrestrial organisms not sheltered in burrows or in water, he said.

Hmmmmm...I wanna see their model for this.

RA, you'd have a better grasp of the physics behind this...what do you think? Locally, yes, I can accept this hypothesis, but globally? Musta been one h*lluva bolide, and I'm not convinced that smaller biota would have survived even in well-protected niches...availability of free atmospheric oxygen being a major factor.

Permian, maybe...K/T? Call me very skeptical.

10 posted on 07/08/2004 12:49:15 AM PDT by Aracelis
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: swilhelm73

Perhaps deep roots survived, and I'm sure seeds did. And, other animals were carrying around seeds. Those would produce new, adapted plants and underground plant matter and insects would provide food and water.


11 posted on 07/08/2004 12:49:41 AM PDT by lonewacko_dot_com (http://lonewacko.com/blog)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: the_Watchman
It looks like VELIKOVSKY's "Worlds In Collision" is being revisited!

Velikovsky was a dolt.

12 posted on 07/08/2004 12:52:26 AM PDT by Ichneumon ("...she might as well have been a space alien." - Bill Clinton, on Hillary, "My Life", p. 182)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: lonewacko_dot_com

Must have been a lot of rain after that much evaporation.


13 posted on 07/08/2004 12:54:17 AM PDT by Free Trapper (Because we ate the green mammals first!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: swilhelm73
And wouldn't that have killed every land plant?

Probably, but not all their seeds.

I'd also think that creatures and plants nearer the poles would have had an advantage.

If I recall correctly, species that were exclusively shallow-water-dwelling had a hard time pulling through as well.

14 posted on 07/08/2004 12:55:43 AM PDT by Ichneumon ("...she might as well have been a space alien." - Bill Clinton, on Hillary, "My Life", p. 182)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: LibWhacker
Wow this is a scary theory.

Earth may be a small target, but it has been traveling in a repetitive pattern for billions of years; in the field of trajectory of billions of astronomical projectiles...what are the odds of a hit?

15 posted on 07/08/2004 12:56:36 AM PDT by Positive (There's nothing sadder than seeing a group of great ideas being murdered by a bunch of brutal facts!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Free Trapper
"Must have been a lot of rain after that much evaporation."

Yes, and the mineral content of the astroid may have been very beneficial to plant growth and animal development.

16 posted on 07/08/2004 1:01:02 AM PDT by Positive (There's nothing sadder than seeing a group of great ideas being murdered by a bunch of brutal facts!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Positive

A big hit like that one? I've heard something like once every 100 million years or so.


17 posted on 07/08/2004 1:01:29 AM PDT by LibWhacker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Positive
That's the way I was thinking.

Fast destruction and everything set for a quick rebirth?of life.

18 posted on 07/08/2004 1:09:39 AM PDT by Free Trapper (Because we ate the green mammals first!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: LibWhacker
Trust me, I'm no Art Bell...but asteroids come in many shapes and sizes and material content, do they not.

If they do...it must be one heck of a mathematical computation to figure out the probablity...then of course there's the differences of consequences of a direct hit, a negative rotation hit or a positive rotation hit...is it in the Northern Hemisphere during which season or the Southern?

I bought a Lotto ticket today...odds 41,600,000 to one...hundreds of people have "beat the odds."

19 posted on 07/08/2004 1:10:26 AM PDT by Positive (There's nothing sadder than seeing a group of great ideas being murdered by a bunch of brutal facts!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Free Trapper
The problem involves quite a number of factors, not the least of which would be rapid and efficient carbon sequestration. Rain would accelerate the process, but where's the sink? We have found a fine clay lamina in various places globally the defines the K/T, but I do not recall that this was being investigated for carbon.
20 posted on 07/08/2004 1:10:47 AM PDT by Aracelis
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Free Trapper

Hey I live in Southern California and there are many bush fires...you should see what a burn area looks like a year or two after a fire...better than before.


21 posted on 07/08/2004 1:12:54 AM PDT by Positive (There's nothing sadder than seeing a group of great ideas being murdered by a bunch of brutal facts!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: LibWhacker
striking with the energy of 100 million megatons of TNT

Where on earth did he get this figure from? The Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs were in the 12-20 KILO ton range, meaning this explosion is 5 MILLION times stronger (provided that a megaton = 1000 kilotons).
22 posted on 07/08/2004 1:19:22 AM PDT by lelio
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Aracelis

Just watched a show on Science Channel this past weekend.

The Planets were all formed by a disk of dust that kept getting bigger. Then the big parts kept getting bigger, then gravity of the big ones made them bigger.

According to the Scientists on the subject Pluto and Venus Proved this theory.

Yet when it comes to Uranas and Neptune the quote is:

"No matter how many times we tired we could get no computer model to create these two planets. It just didn't work. We put in all the data and still came to nothing. I think the science is not yet perfect."

And as to the big extinction, there is one "respected archeologist, he looks like a hippie wears a hat all the time, (name escapes me) He said that there is a little tree frog in S. America and if you change his surrounding temp by a degree it DIES. He does not believe in the Asteroid but says what killed the Dinos was the little critters, Disease.

Land bridges afforded at time migration and some had immmunities others did not. ???

If Science was always right then scienctist would always agree. Either evidence says planets were formed one way or another. But then 2 PLanets do not fit into the mix at all.

As Stephen Hawking said, "The big bang happened, but can we say that a supreme being did not use that method to "create" the universe?" It is something that must not be left out.


23 posted on 07/08/2004 1:19:39 AM PDT by Michael121 (An old soldier knows truth. Only a Dead Soldier knows peace.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Positive

There are two ways to figure a probability: Calculate it or estimate it. I think the "once every 100 million years" assessment falls into the latter category -- though we do have a much better idea what's out there nowadays than even 20 years ago and can do a better job calculating these probabilities. You're definitely correct, though, I was only referring to the "unconditional" probability of a 6+ mile bolide clobbering us.


24 posted on 07/08/2004 1:21:28 AM PDT by LibWhacker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: lelio

I think it's just based on the physics of the situation; e.g., what is the kinetic energy of Mt. Everest approaching Earth at ~30 miles/sec?


25 posted on 07/08/2004 1:24:38 AM PDT by LibWhacker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Aracelis
"rapid and efficient carbon sequestration"

Why would good,fast carbonized horsemen be a factor?

Sorry,couldn't resist. ;)

26 posted on 07/08/2004 1:26:19 AM PDT by Free Trapper (Because we ate the green mammals first!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: LibWhacker

Bush did it. Dan Rather said so.

;)


27 posted on 07/08/2004 1:33:04 AM PDT by kb2614 ( You have everything to fear, including fear itself. - The new DNC slogan)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: LibWhacker
It's late, I'm about to quit...do you know?...do all astroids travel at the same speeds?

Can one (or some) coming from God only know where (no disrespect meant), sling around some star(s), planet(s), moon(s) and end up traveling at google speeds?

Thus arriving at their ultimate destination sooner than anyone might expect?

28 posted on 07/08/2004 1:37:04 AM PDT by Positive (There's nothing sadder than seeing a group of great ideas being murdered by a bunch of brutal facts!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: Positive

Hmmm . . . Have to ask the resident astronomers here for a complete explanation, but all asteroids definitely do not travel at the same speed relative to Earth, though I think there are correlations between their speeds and their origin. For instance, asteroids coming in from the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter come in relatively slowly (though God help us if a big one ever smacks into us!), whereas asteroids and comets coming in from further out in the solar system, or even interstellar space, tend to be moving quite a bit faster.


29 posted on 07/08/2004 1:45:55 AM PDT by LibWhacker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: freebilly

Actually, there would be lots of cooked food everywhere...


30 posted on 07/08/2004 1:47:44 AM PDT by DB ()
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: LibWhacker
Even if the asteroid wasn't moving relative to the sun, we are moving very fast around the sun and would in effect collide into it.
31 posted on 07/08/2004 1:52:01 AM PDT by DB ()
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: LibWhacker
Thanks for the response.

I think that there is much discussion that could be had on this topic.

I'm not a physicist, astronomer or rocket scientist...but this subject as both intrigued and concerned me for years.

Aren't "falling stars" after all, just asteroids and comets on near misses of Earth?

32 posted on 07/08/2004 2:03:35 AM PDT by Positive (There's nothing sadder than seeing a group of great ideas being murdered by a bunch of brutal facts!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: DB

I think the Earth's speed as it orbits the Sun is in the neighborhood of 60,000 MPH. Fast enough for a large floating chunk of space rock to do major damage as it slams into us!


33 posted on 07/08/2004 2:10:11 AM PDT by Las Vegas Dave ("Let's roll" in 2004 ----- Vote GOP!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: DB

Yeah, for a decade. Sure....


34 posted on 07/08/2004 2:15:16 AM PDT by freebilly (Vote Kerry-- A billion Muslims can't be wrong...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: Positive
Aren't "falling stars" after all, just asteroids and comets on near misses of Earth?

Falling stars are meteors, usually not much larger than a grain of sand. They enter Earth's atmosphere at several miles per second and burn up.

It's always amazed me that we could even see something as small as that burning up when it's so darned far away from us (what, five, ten or even twenty miles over our heads?). So, they miss Earth in the sense that they do not make it to the ground, but they definitely hit Earth's upper atmosphere (and that's no miss in my book!).

Astronomers don't call them asteroids or comets, reserving those designations for larger stuff.

BTW, I'm not an astronomer/physicist either, just a guy who's had a couple of astronomy courses. :-)

35 posted on 07/08/2004 2:29:42 AM PDT by LibWhacker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: LibWhacker
Wow. One would almost expect the same reaction when liberals get hit with common sense. They're too akin to cockoraches I guess...

At any rate, if all the dinosaurs died then, how do they explain Helen Thomas?

Seriously, interesting article.

36 posted on 07/08/2004 2:43:37 AM PDT by Caipirabob (Democrats.. Socialists..Commies..Traitors...Who can tell the difference?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: freebilly
The "heat pulse" caused by re-entering ejected matter would have reached around the globe, igniting fires and burning up all terrestrial organisms not sheltered in burrows or in water, he said.

Excuse me while I move my computer into the burrow... er... basement. LOL! (At least until the next theory-presented-as-fact says only the creatures on high mountain tops survived.) But then there's the ever-flip-flopping global warming/global cooling terror de-jure. What's a poor gullible guy to do?
37 posted on 07/08/2004 2:43:56 AM PDT by broadsword (Liberalism is the societal AIDS virus that thwarts our national defense.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: LibWhacker

They know what happened 65 milion years ago?

I can't even find my keys...


38 posted on 07/08/2004 2:45:48 AM PDT by djf
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: LibWhacker

Lots of people still laugh when there is talk of setting up an asteroid defence system. The chances of a big hit are small but there's always that chance, the planets have swept up most of the rocks flying round the solar system but there will always be rocks out there.


39 posted on 07/08/2004 2:50:28 AM PDT by draoi
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: freebilly
Sure, and the animals that burrowed underground or sheltered in water survived how? By eating what?

Soil is a pretty good insulator, and after everything cooled off there would be plenty of roast dino laying around.
40 posted on 07/08/2004 2:55:11 AM PDT by R. Scott (Humanity i love you because when you're hard up you pawn your Intelligence to buy a drink.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: swilhelm73
And wouldn't that have killed every land plant?

Ever see how quickly they springs back after a forest fire?
41 posted on 07/08/2004 2:56:41 AM PDT by R. Scott (Humanity i love you because when you're hard up you pawn your Intelligence to buy a drink.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: lelio

One of the clues is the size of the crater, which is still extant.


42 posted on 07/08/2004 3:03:08 AM PDT by Junior (FABRICATI DIEM, PVNC)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: lelio
Where on earth did he get this figure from?

The first Hydrogen (Fusion) bomb was approx 10.4 Megatons.
It left a crater a mile wide..

The biggest H-bomb ever tested by the U.S. was 15 Megatons.
It left a crater 250 ft. deep and 6250 ft wide..

What's the size of the Yucatan Crater?
I would guess about 10 miles wide, and somewhere around 2000 to 2200 ft deep..

i.e., 100 megatons..

The Russians had designs for 100 megaton H-bombs, but never actually tested any.. ( not sure if they ever built one or not )

43 posted on 07/08/2004 3:05:07 AM PDT by Drammach (Ripley... Last survivor of the Nostromo.... signing off....)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Drammach

The Yucatan crater is estimated to be 110 - 125 miles in diameter. I don't know if there is any reliable estimate of depth.


44 posted on 07/08/2004 3:23:37 AM PDT by Truth29
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 43 | View Replies]

To: lelio

Here's a link to an interesting article..

http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/planetearth/asteroid_jello_001122.html

Says the crater is 100 - 150 miles wide..

I would have to revise my estimate another power of 10....

1,000 megatons.. or .. 1 to 1.5 GIGATONS..


45 posted on 07/08/2004 3:24:50 AM PDT by Drammach (Ripley... Last survivor of the Nostromo.... signing off....)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Truth29

Yeah.. I just posted a revised estimate after doing a little googling..


46 posted on 07/08/2004 3:25:49 AM PDT by Drammach (Ripley... Last survivor of the Nostromo.... signing off....)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 44 | View Replies]

To: R. Scott

Over a decade of boiling temperatures and a nearly constant fires are rather a more serious problem for plant life...


47 posted on 07/08/2004 3:36:48 AM PDT by swilhelm73 (We always have been, we are, and I hope that we always shall be detested in France. -Duke Wellington)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 41 | View Replies]

To: LibWhacker

I thought the Cretaceous extinction took about a million years?


48 posted on 07/08/2004 3:40:44 AM PDT by mewzilla
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: LibWhacker


49 posted on 07/08/2004 3:48:56 AM PDT by angkor
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: LibWhacker
It's a popular theory on the internet that the huge crater at Chicxulub in the Yucatan, was caused by a spaceship carrying the original neanderthal seedlings. Man was supposed to evolve in a terribly harsh, dinosaur-filled environment - survival of the very fittest. Unfortunately, the crash moved human inception back a few million years.

One unforseen effect of this, because of the easier path, has been the early emergence of the "liberal" gene, which ideally would have been suppressed for a long, long time. Also, one can note that humans were to have started in north america rather that africa. Also, this event gave a big boost to cockroaches and rats, both of which were originally planned to exist in much smaller populations.

50 posted on 07/08/2004 4:02:15 AM PDT by searchandrecovery (Socialist America - diseased and dysfunctional.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-150151-200201-210 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson