Dinosaur Extinction

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  • Topic: Cretaceous–Tertiary extinction event, Dinosaur, Impact event
  • Pages : 21 (5674 words )
  • Download(s) : 127
  • Published : January 17, 2013
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To what extent does the impact theory explain the extinction of the dinosaurs?

Dominic Pharaoh 5A Promoter: Harriet Gibson 2011-2012

Dominic Pharaoh

5A

Promoter: Harriet Gibson

2

Table of contents

I. II.

Introduction ......................................................................................................................... 3 The impact theory and the alternative hypotheses .......................................................... 6 A. 1.

The impact or Alvarez theory ...................................................................................... 6 Weighing the evidence ............................................................................................................ 8

B.
1. 2. 3.

The Indian Deccan Traps ........................................................................................... 12 What exactly are these Deccan Traps? ................................................................................. 12 What was the Deccan Traps involvement in the K-T extinction?.......................................... 13 Weighing the evidence .......................................................................................................... 13

C.
1. 2.

The Other Hypotheses ............................................................................................... 14 The multiple impact theory ................................................................................................... 14 Weighing the evidence .......................................................................................................... 14

D. III. A. IV. V.

Could it have been a combination? ............................................................................ 15 A closer look at selectivity ............................................................................................ 16 The warm-blooded/cold-blooded debate ................................................................... 17 Conclusion ..................................................................................................................... 20 Bibliography...................................................................................................................21

Dominic Pharaoh

5A

Promoter: Harriet Gibson

3

I.

Introduction

There once was a time when dinosaurs walked this earth. These magnificent beasts thrived on this planet for nearly 200 million years. They dominated the food chains, some through their size, and others thanks to their intelligence. So how is it that they all disappeared so suddenly? That is a question that has remained unanswered ever since it was first posed. In this research I shall look at the evidence and research which has aimed at answering this all important question. I chose this subject because, when I was little more than a toddler, I was fascinated by dinosaurs. I’d ask my parents for all sorts of movies, books, figurines, anything to do with dinosaurs in fact. Although these ancient creatures fed my imagination for years, as I got older, my interest in them dwindled, but then, a few months ago I was given the opportunity to revive my interest in this long lost world and I knew that, somewhere in my project, these ancient beasts had to be mentioned. In addition, the question of what happened to make a whole species die out is a question that caught my interest as I got older. Dinosaurs seemed to be so incredibly powerful and well adapted to their environment that their mass extinction is very puzzling. What is wonderful with a subject like this is that there is no clear cut answer. Nobody can say for sure how this mass extinction took place. The search is ever ongoing, and that is why it is possible that, in ten years time, what I have written here may no longer be valid. As I found out while gathering the required information I needed in order to write this research, this subject is slightly more science...
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