Atmospheric carbon dioxide/oxygen imbalance in the late Cretaceous, hatching of eggs and the extinction of biota

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dc.contributor.author Oelofsen, B. W.
dc.date.accessioned 2015-01-08T10:13:11Z
dc.date.available 2015-01-08T10:13:11Z
dc.date.issued 1978
dc.identifier.citation None en_ZA
dc.identifier.issn 0078-8554
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10539/16263
dc.description Main article en_ZA
dc.description.abstract A new theory explains why dinosaurs, pterosaurs and large avian species like Hesperornis became extinct at the end of the Cretaceous while mammals, smaller Cretaceous birds, crocodiles, chelonians and saurians survived . An atmospheric carbon dioxide/oxygen imbalance at the end of the Cretaceous caused by kimberlite volcanism, basalt flows and a reduction in oxygen production by marine phytoplankton is proposed. The unfavourable area to volume ratio of large eggs for diffusion of respiratory gases compared to that of small eggs resulted in the asphyxiation of the embryos of large endothermic egg laying groups. Endothermic species, e.g. dinosaurs that covered their eggs with soil, restricted the free circulation of air and would have been first to become extinct. Smaller ectothermic species, e.g. crocodiles, chelonians and saurians with lower embryonic respiratory requirements and endothermic species like the birds that did not cover their eggs, survived. en_ZA
dc.description.sponsorship None en_ZA
dc.language.iso en en_ZA
dc.publisher Bernard Price Institute for Palaeontological Research en_ZA
dc.relation.ispartofseries None;
dc.subject Dinosaur; Cretaceous; Eggs; Extinction; Atmospheric en_ZA
dc.title Atmospheric carbon dioxide/oxygen imbalance in the late Cretaceous, hatching of eggs and the extinction of biota en_ZA
dc.type Article en_ZA


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