Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Dinosaur Demise Discovered!

Antarctic fossil prompts rethink about amphibian history

PARIS (AFP) - The fossilised remains of an amphibian which lived more than 245 million years ago have been found in Antarctica, suggesting that the climate during much of the Triassic era was remarkably balmy.

The 60-centimetre (24-inch) piece of skull was teased out of thick sandstone at Fremouw Peak in the Transantarctic Mountains, just six degrees short of the South Pole.

Palaeontologists in Europe and the United States have identified the beast as a Parotosuchus, a two-metre-long (6.5-feet) giant salamander-like predator that lived 40 million years before the first dinosaurs, inhabiting lakes and rivers.
The researchers believe the new specimen shows that conditions were mild enough in the late Early or Middle Triassic period to let a cold-blooded creature live near Pangea's southern margin, seasonally at least.
I guess they went extinct because they didn't limit their carbon footprint by consuming too many fossil fuels.

Or maybe all climate change, radical as it was, before the 20th century, was all from natural causes; and all climate change since then, no matter how small, is due to humans.

I thought science was supposed to have banished irrational, medieval, religiously-driven conceits that people were the center of the universe?

Or maybe the human capacity for sanctimonious ignorance is simply infinite.


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