Prehistoric research continues each day

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, July 29, 2014

To me, dinosaurs have to be one of the more interesting aspects in the history of our Earth. While the discovery of other humanoid species such as the Neanderthals is second on my list, the strangeness of dinosaurs overrules. Recently National Geographic released a news article stating that several factors led to eventual extinction of the largest of the dinosaurs, leaving us with their closest relatives, birds.

The largest contributing factor to their extinction outlined in the article was the impact of a series of volcanic eruptions, not an asteroid. While the asteroid was the death knell, a lack of species diversity and an already fl uctuating climate due to the volcanic eruptions were already in play before the asteroid struck.

I find the history of this planet before human occupation interesting because it involved strange creatures we are just beginning to understand on a larger scale. While the article outlines some new evidence and supporting facts as to their extinction, the thing we must all remember is each year more and more information is gathered about the history of this planet. As more information is gathered, our understanding increases just a bit. One example is the fact that there never really was a Brontosaurus.

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While I grew up with the Brontosaurus being my favorite of all dinosaurs, it was actually the Apatosaurus the whole time. A fossil discovery more than 100 years ago was missing a head, leading to the confusion. My point is, no matter what is reported today, a subsequent discovery tomorrow can discredit what we thought we knew to be truth.

What we do know is more than 65 million years ago, strange creatures large, and small, called dinosaurs lived on this planet. And for whatever reasons, they don’t any more. So what does that say about life on Earth? It’s all subject to a series of factors and events that change every day.