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No. 42: Nov-Dec 1985

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The Night Of The Polar Dinosaur

Somewhere west of Deadhorse, a small town on Prudhoe Bay in northern Alaska, paleontologists have found the bones of at least three species of dinosaurs. But wait, the latitude there is 70 north today and according to magnetic measurements of the rocks, it was about the same when the dinosaurs met their demise. At these high latitudes the dinosaurs either had to contend with two months of darkness each year or they had to migrate many hundreds of miles over the rough Alaskan landscape. The visions of dinosaurs groping for tons of vegetable food in the polar night is about as incongruous as imagining them trekking down to the Lower 481 Scientists are now maintaining that these dinosaurs did prosper on the shore of the Arctic Ocean, even in the dark, because the climate then was semitropical or temperate. This was because the earth's climate was more equable or uniform. They are, however, surprised by the lack of mineral deposition in the dinosaur bones, which look rather "mode m". (Anderson, Ian; "Alaskan Dinosaurs Confound Catastrophe Theorists, " New Scientist, p. 18, August 22, 1985. ) (The apparent survival of dinosaurs during two months of darkness is being used as an argument against asteroidal catastrophism, which it is claimed wiped out the dinosaurs with a long-lived dust cloud that blocked the sun. WRC)

From Science Frontiers #42, NOV-DEC 1985. 1985-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987