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Ask not how dinosaurs became extinct, ask how they existed (in the first place):

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A New Spin   (Comments)

'What is this?'

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Another possible scenario for the changes to the earth's spin and axis of rotation

Consequently to the disastrous earthquake that struck Japan, it was determined that the earth's spin slowed somewhat and the axis of rotation also shifted slightly. While these changes are very minute to the point of being almost a mere theoretical in nature, they are definitely measurable and, of coarse, permanent.

That being the case, was it possible for a large enough motion of tectonic plates, to cause changes to the earth's spin and axis of rotation which end the dinosaurs era?

-J.T.
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----- Richard E. J. Driskill's comments ------

Hmmm... cute.

The Earth is presently 24,901.55 miles in circumference, at the equator, at sea level, and it's along that point it spins (rotates) at a rate of 1,040.4547 mph (mean speed), which is judged over a period of 23 hours, 56 minutes, and 4.09 seconds. If your claim of an increase in spin of 17 fold for the period is extrapolated, that would mean the earth would have been spinning at the equator at 17,687.729 miles per hour (all things being equal). In both cases the poles, as pin points (minus any relative wobble) would experience a 0 mile per hour spin rate. Additionally, the rotation rate would deliver periods of light and darkness, that if evenly divided would span roughly 42 minutes and 21 seconds each. I fear this would play havoc on the photosynthesis process of most plants (past and present), and you might want to check this out with a botanical scientist. Due to the near constant twilight-like condition of the planet, I would also extend that the lack of relevant cycles of heating and cooling would have impacted weather conditions to the point that the planet would be more arid than lush.

And now we come to something called escape velocity. The present escape velocity for the Earth is 11.2 km/sec (25,053.69 miles per hour) and is the same for a molecule of hydrogen or a huge dinosaur. Your aforementioned spin rate of old would have induced a condition wherein 70.599% of the escape velocity at the time (all things being equal) would have been negated. This would be in direct reference to your comment on centrifugal effects upon weight, and by extension, its interaction upon animal size viability. In fact it would impact much, much more.

The atmospheric pressure (and all that that implies) of the planet would have been catastrophically reduced (ballooning outward) to the point that ALL cellular growth and design between the 2 periods in time would surely be quite noticeable, including the internal bone matrix of long dead dinosaurs.

To the best of my knowledge, this has not been discovered to be the case.


[Author's note: actually it has been, albeit, somewhat indirectly and in the growth of tree-rings instead. You can look it up here.   J.T.]

This leads me to conclude, that although your hypothesis is initially interesting, it's unsupported in relative facts to the degree it becomes implausible. BUT... I must say I am impressed with your thinking process. Never stop banging at the door. ;)

Mr. Richard E. J. Driskill
Electromagnetic Spectrum Authority (retired)
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----- Author's comments on Richard E. J. Driskill's comments -----

REJD's observation that the atmospheric pressure would have been reduced as a result of the reduced weight, brings to light an interesting point that could, by the way, explain why the dinosaurs remained cold blooded throughout their reign.

With hundreds of millions years of evolution under their belt, a question may well be asked how come they never evolved from the 'primitive' status of being cold blooded to the more 'progressive' state of being warm blooded. After all, warm blooded animals do not depend for their function on the temperature of their environment and are able to better cope with changes in temperature.

The extremely low barometric pressureat at the equator must have resulted in tremendous winds blowing from the high pressure points at the poles and pushed on by the low-pressure gradient throughout, all the way to the equator of that time. It's similar to your occasional local weather picture, with centers of high and low pressure, but with two big differences: the winds were permanent and must have been tremendously strong. (Well, don't look at me. Didn't I tell you it was a strange world indeed?) How strong were these winds is yet to be determined and such terms as 'extremely' and 'tremendous' may turn out to be huge understatements. It would also remain to be explained how the plants and animals managed to survive under such a permanent storm.

Similar to natural convection that distributes the heat in a heated living-room (actually, more like a gigantic forced-air fan) the possible effect of these perpetual winds was thermometer to even-out the temperature throughout the globe so as to make it practically the same at all latitudes. It probably was the same day and night and throughout the year's seasons.

It's yet to be determined what was this temperature. (Likely, a comfortable midpoint somewhere between the temperature in Hell and that in Heaven.)

"I did-it m---y way"
gator With such fixed temperature why bother to become warm blooded? A cold blooded creature is by far more efficient from the standpoint of energy and food requirements. Animals such as crocodiles and snakes are known to do with a single meal per several months since they don't have an internal furnace requiring a constant feeding of fuel.

So, why didn't the dinosaurs become warm blooded? There was simply no need for them to do so.

But the saga of the winds doesn't just end there... (More)


Contents


  • i.   'What is this?'
  • ii.  --The short answer:
  • iii. --The long answer:
  • iv.   For the impatient:
  • v.  'What is next then?'
  • 1.   The bigger they are ...
  • 2.   Is there a limit to growth?
  • 3.   Not convinced yet?  What does rate have to do with it?
  • 4.   Why aren't any such big animals alive today?
  • 5.   What, then, made it possible for them to take their place in the earth's history?
  • 6.   But aren't weight and size one and the same?
  • 7.   Are we talking change in gravity, then?
  • 8.   What is centrifugal force and how could it affect the weight?
  • 9.   What is it that made earth's spin to slow down?
  • 10. Where is the proof?
  • 11. What is there left to do?
  •        Acknowledgment.
  •        Comments.
  •        Appendix: documented evidence from independent sources.