Home Page Science Frontiers

No. 42: Nov-Dec 1985

Issue Contents

Other pages











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