back to article Volcanoes fingered in oceanic mass extinction

Scientists reckon they've confirmed what caused an oceanic mass extinction during the late Cretaceous period, 93 million years ago, provoked by a sudden, and previously unexplained "anoxic event" which deprived bottom-dwelling species of oxygen. According to a report in Nature, the cataclysm was provoked by massive undersea …


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  1. Adrian


    93 million years ago, the Caribean kills off all sea life with a volcano.

    50 million years ago, the Caribean kills off all dinosaurs with a meteor hit.

    It's about the time something else comes from the Caribean, killing off humans.

    I welcome and encourage our great alien overlords to come and save us (slavery is better than death)

  2. M

    This just in...

    In related news, Gordon Brown, and to a lesser extent his finger puppet Alastair Darling, have announced a new 'green' tax on volcanoes.

  3. Andy Barber
    IT Angle

    2 extintions @ the same place?

    First we are told that the dinosaurs were wiped out by a meteorite impact in the Gulf of Mexico, 65M years ago. Now they are suggesting a previous extension 28M years in the same region. Is it just because the GOM is in the Americans back yard, or have not yet looked elsewhere yet?

  4. Louis Cowan
    Thumb Up


    I was drinking in a bar with a few of my mates and somehow the conversation got around to shower habits. He was horrified to find out exactly how much me and my other mate washed of ourselves.

    "You actually wash... your volcano???" he asked. Hence the laugh when I read that headline :)

  5. Gianni Straniero

    Hot spot

    $64 million dollars? Used to be $64k in my day, but that's runaway inflation for you, I suppose.

    Maybe one of those magmatic hot spots like they have under Big Island in Hawaii. Could still be there, I suppose, what with a lot of the Windward Islands being volcanoes. But that sounds like a lot of magma. Things like this and the Deccan Traps make Krakatau look like a tuppenny banger.

  6. Mark

    Re: Bugger

    We should invade the Caribbean! They are obviously deploying WMD's!

    (PS: "Give me Victory or give me Death! Actually, just the victory bit is fine...")

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Oh come on! Outrageous..

    Steven Turgeon.....

    Massively fishy if you ask me!!!

    Here's Steven and his best friend, Kevin:-

    Paris 'cos I'd be a bottom-feeder for her....

  8. Anonymous Coward


    Is it April 1?

    The one with the big fish on it...

  9. The Prevaricator

    $64 million dollar question...

    is that like an LCD display or a PIN number?

  10. J

    Re: 2 extintions @ the same place?

    And don't forget that the Bermuda triangle is in that general area too. Sort of.


    I for one welcome our new (sic) osmium-balance destroying volcanic overlords.

  11. Herby

    You mean is wasn't...

    Global Warming? Isn't that the cause of everything (including the Ice Age(s))

    Gone in 60 seconds...

  12. Kevin Campbell
    Paris Hilton


    er, that's "Give me LIBERTY or give me death." Bit of a difference, no?

    Not to worry, Ollie Stone will make a movie about it. Bush/Cheney and the oil conglomerates are responsible, of course. The plot gets weird when Al Gore and The Righteous Nannies Of Gaia And The Environment use a stolen time-travel device to try and stop this mess but are, instead, the possible cause.

    Paris, because she makes about as much sense as what I just said...

  13. Webster Phreaky

    Point of FACT - Dinos were ALREADY dying off 69 - 66 MYA, but I digress ...

    A point of fact (do some reading of REAL research) is that Dinosauria and other specialized life forms of the Cretaceous were well into the extinction process (not "extension" - Andy Barber) 2 to 10 MY BEFORE the K-T "boundary" with fewer than a half dozen "Dinos" amin distinct species left of the 25 to 40 that existed during the Cretaceous period. There is ALSO fossilized evidence that a few small (pigeon sized) Dinos lived PAST the so called Iridium line.

    The BIG issue that the K-T Asteroid nuts can NEVER explain, and always hide from, is WHY far more delicate species as tree and pond frogs, birds (really dinos) turtles; all Croc and Alligator species (even though the oceans with supposedly devastated), a few thousand insect species that don't burrow, all the Shark species - especially the ones that inhabit the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico, et al DIDN'T BECOME EXTINCT!! The "asteroid extinction" is pure bullshit with little hard evidence and only conjecture.

    The Iridium line at the K-T boundary as proof is nothing. The constant quote as seen in the media or Discovery programs is that "Iridium only comes from outer space in asteroids and is not present on Earth" - BS! What the hell do you think the Earth is made up of? The same solar system creating rubble that IS ASTEROIDS! Iridium, a radioactive mineral, i plentiful in the core and mantle of Earth and EVERY deep magma volcanic activity spews Iridium in an Eruption! In a world-wide Volcanic cataclysm such as at the end of the Permian, the Triassic and the Cretaceous Periods (the Deccan Traps and Siberia flows are proof) would have spread Iridium world-wide enough to account for the "Iridium line" at the K-T boundary.

    There are more paleontologists with biology backgrounds that don't except the asteroid theory, than there are geologists and the "sky is falling" astronomers with NO biological training, that do. The skeptics just don't get any press because the media loves cataclysms and mass murders from outer space.

    While impacts may have been a contributing factor in localized extinctions - that's the only evidence there is, it's mother Earth that is always the killer. The big question is, when will YOU be next ... you Global Warming criminals.

    And yes, my degree is in Vertebrate Paleontology ... I only bash Apple as a hobby.

  14. Beelzeebub

    Death is best

    You get to come down here and party on indefinitely, yay!

    Only trouble is, we can't turn the heating down.

    Ar, me geddo a nice flame grilled burger!

  15. Jeffrey Nonken


    If you're going to pick on others for their spelling, you might consider getting your own house in order. That should be "accept", not "except", and that's only the most egregious of your mistakes. (Most are punctuation errors.)

    Normally I don't pick on such things myself, if only because I make mistakes too, but your hypocrisy tends to overcome my usual sweet nature.

    P.S. I'm actually an embedded software engineer by vocation, but I'm currently between jobs. Webster-bashing is just something I do to fill time until the next hire.

  16. Anonymous Coward

    My theory?

    A huge meteorite hits Planet Earth and does all sorts of stuff. Part of that stuff is a boing that creates New Zealand and Iceland and forces other lava to the surface (either under water or above water in, say, India as well otherwise we might be given to thinking that the lava arose just because it felt it should?)

    So, the theory runs, it is not a single event but a chain of events based on a big reverberating boing after meteoric impact (a pretty big one at that).

    Proof: I don't have any (but I think a lot :) )

  17. Charles Manning

    64 Zimbabwean dollar question more like.

    Who the fsck cares how the dinosaurs died.

    They're dead and gone and finding out how they dies will not do anything useful in the world except keep paleontologists busy (useful because without bones to play with they'd probably meddle with other more important things).

  18. Jon Kale
    Paris Hilton

    We need to keep paleo-biologists, paleo-geologists and their ilk around...

    if only to fuck with the Young Earth Jeebus-freaks and their 6000-year-old view of reality.

    (Paris 'cos hey, it's Friday)

  19. Anonymous Coward

    more important things

    Hello, Vertebrate Paleontologist; Hello embedded software engineer... I'm a marine biologist by qualification, an environmental scientist by vocation and fix up computers that should have died years ago as a hobby. I only look at pr0n because I don't want the government to know that I spend most of my time bashing them on this forum whilst looking for stable drivers for ancient, old and end-of-line hardware; oh, and playing really stupid computer games when I should be out molesting children like any self respecting male (gotta live up to the allegations in the press...) WTF am I doing on this page?

    Oh yes, extinctions... bit of a pisser for the old dinosaurs but what the hell... we'll be staring in our own extinction level event soon enough anyway. Religious fervour anyone; accidental uNclear explosion setting off retaliatory strike for one? Alien invasion from OuterSpace (or natural response to Japanese Knotweed at a push); stray comet perhaps; lethal pandemic maybe? Ah - or total global economic collapse and subsequent mass starvation brought on by decades of agricultural mismanagement, systematic financial abuse and stupid "protect the minority" laws... it all ends the same way. I suspect that a hundred thousand generations from now people of a species descended from cockroaches will be asking themselves why it was that such an enightened and advanced species as the humans still couldn't keep it together for a fraction of the time the dinosaurs managed.

  20. Gianni Straniero

    @ Webster Freakout

    My recollection is that the persuasive evidence for an extra-terrestrial origin of the iridium is the thinness of the deposit, and its worldwide distribution. If the iridium was spewed out in the long-term vulcanism of the Deccan eruption, you'd expect its stratigraphic distribution to be broader. Coupled with the discovery of the Chicxulub impact, it looks pretty persuasive.

    I remember Stephen Jay Gould did an interesting statistical analysis of the distribution of fossils in the upper Cretaceous which ran counter to your assertion that the Dinosaurs were already in decline. I think it's one of the essays in "Dinosaur in a Haystack".

    I'm prepared to believe it was a combination of both, with vulcanism contributing to environmental decline, and the impact the coup de grace that finally did for the dinosaurs.

    Anyway, I only took Mesozoic v-pal as an option a good twelve years ago, so I bow to your superior knowledge in this area.

  21. Mark


    "er, that's "Give me LIBERTY or give me death." Bit of a difference, no?"

    Well, not much. I'd still prefer the "not death" option.

  22. Anonymous Coward

    Gianni's [vulcanism contributing to environmental decline]

    ...That's Illogical, Captain. The mind probe is entirely benign. ...sorry - couldn't help it.

  23. John Angelico

    @Webster Phreaky

    And the catastrophists still can't make headway against the uniformitarianists....

  24. Anonymous Coward

    @Webster Freakout

    You're not Ed Conrad, are you?

    The heavy use of capitalisation gives it away... ;-)

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Please guys!

    Give it a rest.


  26. Kevin Kitts
    Dead Vulture



    "93 million years ago, the Caribean kills off all sea life with a volcano.

    50 million years ago, the Caribean kills off all dinosaurs with a meteor hit."


    <evil grin>

    Hmm...almost every 50 million years.

    93 - 50 = 47.

    50 - 47 = 3 million years ago.

    That rings a bell, doesn't it? We've been around that long. Coincidence?




    Now we know our place in the universe. The Earth is due for a re-formatting, and we're the next tool in line.

    </evil grin>


  27. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Kevin Kritts - Good Point, VERY well Made.

    <Type your comment here> .... LMAO look up.

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