As article author, Douglas Preston (Dinosaurs in the Attic - An Excursion into the American Museum of Natural History) states:
A young paleontologist may have discovered a record of the most significant event in the history of life on Earth.
What the paleontologist Robert DePalma might have discovered are fossils laid down just after the asteroid impact that is believed to have caused the extinction of the dinosaurs. I have included a couple of quotes from the article. The first is part of the best description of the kind of damage the impact could have caused, that I can remember reading. As a science fiction fan the fact that the impact could have dispersed material, possibly even living microbes, so far out into space is quite exciting. It could be the dispersal that could launch a thousand plots one might suggest. The discussion of the finds themselves are incredible, hopefully this site will merit a documentary at the very least. So since I love dinosaurs and books, and books about the dinosaurs, plus dinosaurs in films and dinosaur models and since my most memorable birthday cake was one my mother covered with plastic dinosaurs, I wanted to share this link. And some photos of dinosaur goodies of course. Maybe this discovery is too good to be true, but I hope not, and so does that little boy looking at that cake, all those years ago.
“We have the whole KT event preserved in these sediments,” DePalma said. “With this deposit, we can chart what happened the day the Cretaceous died.” No paleontological site remotely like it had ever been found, and, if DePalma’s hypothesis proves correct, the scientific value of the site will be immense. When Walter Alvarez visited the dig last summer, he was astounded. “It is truly a magnificent site,” he wrote to me, adding that it’s “surely one of the best sites ever found for telling just what happened on the day of the impact.”
But eventually life emerged and blossomed again, in new forms. The KT event continues to attract the interest of scientists in no small part because the ashen print it left on the planet is an existential reminder. “We wouldn’t be here talking on the phone if that meteorite hadn’t fallen,” Smit told me, with a laugh. DePalma agreed. For the first hundred million years of their existence, before the asteroid struck, mammals scurried about the feet of the dinosaurs, amounting to little. “But when the dinosaurs were gone it freed them,” DePalma said. In the next epoch, mammals underwent an explosion of adaptive radiation, evolving into a dazzling variety of forms, from tiny bats to gigantic titanotheres, from horses to whales, from fearsome creodonts to large-brained primates with hands that could grasp and minds that could see through time.
All quotes from the New Yorker, hopefully they will not mind.
Dinosaur figures; Papo France
Prehistoric Animals; Zdenek Burian
Cryptozoic!; Don Punchatz
Analog; H. R. Van Dongen
Science Wonder Stories; Frank R. Paul
The Beast from 20,0000 Fathoms; VHS design?, signed by Ray Harryhausen at Royal Tyrrell Museum
Dinosaurs Past and Present; Cool Weather by William Stout
The Greatest Adventure; Ed Emshwiller
Post a Comment