Global Cooling Found Dinosauria’s Achilles Heel

Many theories have been proposed regarding the extinction of the Dinosauria at the end of the Cretaceous.  Although the Cretaceous mass extinction event was not the only, or indeed, the most severe extinction event recorded in the Phanerozoic Eon, the demise of the dinosaurs seems to have attracted the most attention.  New research sheds light on the dinosaur extinction.

The Demise of the Dinosauria Explored

Titus the T. rex Skull and Jaws.  Dinosaur extinction.

The skull of the T. rex exhibit on display.  A fresh examination of dinosaur extinction theories.  Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

Victor Babbitt, from Boulder, Colorado (a great place to live if you happen to be interested in geology and palaeontology like Victor), has written an informative article speculating on why the dinosaurs may have become extinct but cold-bloodied reptiles, mammals and birds survived the extinction event.  It is well worth a read.

From the blog, a paper can be downloaded that provides the case for a sustained period of global cooling leading to the failure to hatch of dinosaur eggs.  This is a well argued article, that provides a very neat answer as to the demise of the dinosaurs but explains why their near relatives, the birds survived into the Cenozoic relatively unscathed.

Dinosaur Extinction

The paper suggests that the decades-long global cooling period caused by either asteroid impact or Deccan volcanism had a differential effect on dinosaur eggs versus bird and reptile eggs, such that many bird and reptile eggs hatched, but dinosaur eggs did not. This resulted in a “dead generation” that wiped out a 100 million years of dinosaur mega-fauna dominance in just a few decades.

If science is essentially a search for truth, it is not an exclusive club, contributions are most welcome.  Certainly a thought provoking article, one that has led to a lot of discussions amongst our team members.

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