Tuesday, October 22, 2002

That Dinosaur in the Atlanta Airport or how My Blog Got Its Name

I wrote the Last Gasp Theory of dinosaur extinction several years ago and posted it on several newsgroups, and also sent it to some paleontologists. Since then, further dinosaur discoveries have added to the evidence that supports my conclusions.

Last weekend, while returning from Washington DC, I passed through the Atlanta Georgia airport. There was a full scale reproduction of a dinosaur skeleton. It was a Chinese dinosaur, a meat eater, named Yaung-something. (I think of it as Young And Restless Saurus.) It towers over you as you walk next to it. The sign says it is over 32 feet in length - about ten meters. And the rib cage is too small for a high speed hunter. It doesn't have breathing room, it's lungs are too small - if they work as our lungs do.

I think that scientists could use the lung size of the different dinosaurs to work out how much more oxygen transfer is occurring, in dinosaurs compared to mammals. It would be interesting to see if there is a constant ratio of lung size to presumed mass for each type of dinosaur.

The dinosaurs died because they ran out of breathing room. They were adapted to an environment with a much greater amount of avaliable oxygen, and when the air thinned, all the creatures that shared that metabolic advantage, on land, in the sea, and in the air, died.