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Pliosaur Alarmism

12 November 2023
Biology, Geology

At https://www.livescience.com/planet-earth/fossils/jurassic-pliosaur-megapredator-was-a-giant-sea-murderer/ … sometimes the press releases are more comedy than serious science. This one is edgy perhaps – as it is alarmist. Here we have a pliosaur fossil that is described as a deep sea murderer. In most wildlife programmes predators simply feed off other life forms. They aren’t described as murdering their prey. Okay, the pliosaur in question was perhaps at the very top of the marine food chain during the Jurassic era – and it seems it had a huge jaw and a body resembling a torpedo . It was big – but so was a lot of animals back in the dinosaur era. Nothing unusual. It seems the idea it was a murderer might have come from its latin name – but even then.

At https://www.livescience.com/planet-earth/fossils/scientists-finally-solve-390-million-year-old-murder-mystery-from-an-ancient-supercontinent/ … a murder mystery solved. This one is about corralling the wagons to keep the pesky invaders away. We are told a fossil bed of marine creatures represents a layer cake of animals that died between 390 and 385 years ago. They were murdered by climate change – it’s in the press release. A lot of murders going on at Live Science – but somebody must be still alive down there. Climate change is all the rage – but did it get in a rage that long ago. At the time, Pangaea was still mostly intact. Africa, South America, Australasia, Antarctica, and even India and Arabia, we are told, were all part of one piece of land – Gondwana. A super continent. The marine fossils are a problem as they mainly consist of trilobites and bivalves such as brachiopods – with some echinodoms and molluscs in the bottom of the deposit. No doubt algae was present. They died out in a fairly restricted time frame, as far as uniformitarianism might allow. Anything more compressed would raise eyebrows. No hint of catastrophism in the research. The deposit, which may have been laid down quickly and all at once, is said to have 6 or 7 layers, in order to fit the findings into the geological column. We have no idea of the condition of the fossils in the press release – and no link to the full article. It is simply presented as a protracted case of fossilisation as otherwise they would have to look for something other than climate change.

There are some interesting stories at Live Science – such as Zealandia; the hidden continent torn from the supercontinant in a flood of fire, 100 million years ago.

Another one is https://www.livescience.com/planet-earth/volcanos/perilous-expedition-to-uninhabited-island-in-south-atlantic-confirms-existence-of-worlds-8th-lava-lake/ … which concerns a volcano sitting on top of Saunders Island, near Antartica. They climbed the volcano, in very cold weather, and looked inside – and found a bubbling lake of molten rock [lava].

At https://www.planet-earth/antarctica/ghost-of-ancient-river-carved-landscape-discovered-satellite-data-has-revealed-a-landscape-beneath-the-antarctic-ice …. U shaped valleys picked up by satellite data which could see through Antarctic ice.

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