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The Day The Dinosaurs Died

Wish you were here!

Tanis, North Dakota.

Have you been to North Dakota? I have, and I must say their mountain removal project was a great success.

But paleo-scientists have made a remarkable find in Tanis. A treasure trove of animal fossils, marine and terrestrial, as well as plants. All jumbled together. Like a kid who’d upended its toybox, I imagine.

And it’s believed by those paleo-scientists who discovered the cache that these hapless creatures died on the day the asteroid hit. The day the Cretaceous came to a fiery end.

North Dakota is flat. Very flat.

Cool, huh?

Spherules from the asteroid were found inside fish fossils that would’ve breathed them in when they rained into the water. A leg from a dinosaur showing no signs of disease or teeth marks, so the conclusion is that it was ripped from the poor thing’s body without so much as a how-dee-do.

There are skeptics, of course. Not the fish, though. Those spherules aren’t smoking guns, they’re we-caught-the-killers-in-the-act. It’s most everything else that has drawn skepticism. Maybe the dinosaurs had already died and when the asteroid hit, the violent tremors shook them out of the dirt. “It doesn’t all have to be about the asteroid,” one skeptic said.

Well, they’re right. It doesn’t have to be about the asteroid. I’m no paleo- anything, but it seems to me that if I found fish with spherules stuck in their gills along with tons of various terrestrial animal bones and plant fossils all in a heap, something cataclysmic must have happened, right? Water would’ve washed them all together, the rivers becoming like tsunamis from the tremors. All the way from Chicxulub, in what is now the Gulf of Mexico, to North Dakota. Smacked by a 40-foot wide space rock. Or 12 meters. Or metres. A big-ass fucker, how’s that?

So we’ll have to wait until the peer-reviewed papers come out for confirmation. From paleo-everybody. Every kind of paleo-specialist there is. And if the findings are conclusive…wow. Just wow.

Extinction events happen.

Then there’s all the news you hear about NEOs, or near Earth objects. Asteroids. Passing close to the planet at 2 million miles away. Nothing to lie awake at night over, but in space that’s like a hop, skip, and a jump.

Wonder if Earth will ever face another extinction event like that? Let me rephrase. When will Earth face another extinction event like that? 66 million years is just a blip on the geologic scale. But to us advanced apes with a life-span measured in double-digit and occasionally triple-digit years, 66 million is like…never.

It’d be interesting to watch it happen. Looking up and seeing this unholy fireball rocketing toward you. Note: I did not say fun. I said interesting. Now, if I was on a space station in high-Earth orbit, THEN it’d be fun. And interesting.

Poor dinos. Poor fish. Poor plants. I hope they all died quickly. Probably not, but it’s a nice thought.

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