Dinosaurs are an interesting and fascinating piece of Earth’s history. Scientists speculate that these massive giants lived between 240 to 65 million years ago. But, two controversies continue to reign amongst scientists: why were the dinosaurs so large and how did they disappear? With no creature on Earth today with which to compare the massive size of a dinosaur, there is little in the way of science to support an understanding about why dinosaurs were the massive, titan-rulers of Earth. To better understand this phenomenon, it is also helpful to examine why the dinosaurs disappeared. The three, major, outstanding theories are: 1) a giant meteor crash, 2) evolution into other species, and 3) the final explanation for their disappearance is that they all retired to a remote island where they were tricked to work at a dinosaur theme park by the billionaire, John Hammond! While there may never be a complete answer, this discussion is written to present a new, alternate theory that tries to explain why the dinosaurs were titans and why the dinosaurs disappeared in the first place.
Let’s start with, the Earth. The old, old, old Earth, that is:
There is an outstanding theory that all the continents were once together (during the early age of the Dinosaurs). This is an idea that’s not so sound. Imagine, if you will a planet formed with an oversized Mohawk:
Consider the rough sketch above. While this illustration may be a little over the top, it’s not too far off from how a planet with oceans would look if the continents of today were once all together. There is little to support the formation of a planet with such an oddity. In fact, where there are planets and planetoids from which to draw scientific observations, no planet, asteroid, or other heavenly body forms in this fashion. This demands an alternate perspective on what the Earth looked like.
The Earth was covered mostly by land and had very little surface water, making it a lot hotter and more like an extreme, wasteland tundra across the main portions of the continent, and a literal rain forest along the rivers and around a very small version of an ocean. This new model would support smaller, polar ice caps (if any at all), support the idea of a warmer, planet surface, and thus, give a lot more support to the ability for cold-blooded creatures to live. In fact, in this new model, the Earth would be have one, large, body of water (roughly ¾ the size of the Pacific Ocean as it is now), and have rivers and lakes in an over-abundance everywhere else. The remainder of the surface was then, in fact, a flat continent (with occasional mountains and valleys). Additionally, I am proposing that it was during this time that the Earth – had no moon (which ends up being during the first age of dinosaurs, the Triassic period), relying on the finally accepted theory that moons are formed by dust bursting up and out of a planet’s surface as it’s impacted, resulting in rings like Saturn’s, that eventually come together.
Now for the most shocking part of this new theory:
The planet you now reside upon – was once a moon.
The solar system you’re in now (Sol) had another planet in it (the largest of them all, that for now, shall be known as ‘Kronos’), and for reasons (whose explanations are beyond that of this paper), yet unknown, Kronos exploded (which is where the asteroid belt around the sun comes from). Kronos filled in the gap between the Sun and Jupiter, sized in accordance with Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, and Uranus. Several of the moons of Kronos survived the cataclysmic, planet-ending event (ie. the planets now known as Earth, Venus, Mars, and possibly even Mercury). But before becoming planets, the moons followed along with the debris of Kronos for a while, staying near the same orbital path as Kronos. However, over time, the pull of the sun drew the moons closer until they fell into their own, planetary orbit (see next illustration). Over the next couple hundred million years, the chunks of debris that burst outward from Kronos, traveled across the universe, assaulting every planet of this solar system as they went. The streams of debris smashing into each of the planets was a time of massive devastation and chaos for the solar system.
The moon as it is today has an estimated volume of 2.2 x 1010 km3.
The Earth has an estimated volume of 1.08 x 1012 km3.
The Earth’s current, estimated mass is 5.97 x 1024 kg. That’s equal to a density of 5.51 x 1012 kg/km3.
The radius of the Earth is 6,371 km.
Now, suppose that the impact events on Earth displaced 100 times the volume of dirt as the moon currently has (since it had to displace, at minimum, the volume that currently makes up the moon plus additional quantities lost into space), or 2.2 x 1012 km3. Knowing the information above, Earth’s original size can now be estimated prior to the impact events:
Volume, V = (4/3) x π x (R3 – r3), where R = the original / larger radius, and r = the current radius.
V = 4.18879 x (R3 – r3)
[(2.2 x 1012 / 4.18879) + 2.6 x 1011]1/3 = R = 9,215 km3
This new radius, when recalculating the volume of Earth = 3.28 x 1012 km3. With a known density (kg/km3 from above), the original volume of the planet Earth prior to the cataclysm was: 1.81 x 1025 kg/km3, or slightly more than 3 times its previous size.
That means that the Earth was a whole lot larger than what it is today. But, what does that mean for the dinosaurs?
While the larger density should mean a higher gravity and potentially smaller creatures (in general, the creatures on a planet 3 times the size could be 3 times smaller on average than today given that the increased density should have caused the molecules to pack in closer to one another), if the Earth was a moon, that means that it rotated slower (with a cooler core, especially with most of the water underground, closer to the core), and sharing in Kronos’ gravitational field. A lower temperature core (causing reduced rotation), and being trapped in the gravitational field of Kronos both mean that the Earth would have rotated much more slowly and had less gravity than it does now. The heat needed by the dinosaurs (pre-Triassic period) was provided by the Earth-moon’s proximity to Kronos during this period. In this new model, there was not one cataclysmic event that riddled the Earth and lead toward the eventual disappearance of the dinosaurs, but thousands upon thousands, with about 4 massive collisions occurring between the Triassic to Cretaceous period, and one more after the disappearance of the dinosaurs. Each of these impact events slightly shifted the planet’s locations while still keeping them in orbit of the sun. The vegetation on Earth would have been larger during this time as a larger planet Earth = larger atmosphere = more oxygen (for plants, not animals). Some scientists might argue to the additional oxygen as being a contributor to the size of the dinosaurs, but this theory is also not without its failures.
One known factor about growth of a species in a confined space is that generally, the more space, the larger the room for growth and the more they’ll grow. This could have been the contributing factor given the original size of the Earth. From an alternate perspective, the dinosaurs could have been native to Kronos (having been transplanted onto the Earth-Moon … making the planet Earth a literal, ‘Jurassic World’), having the larger size (albeit greater density), due to the tremendous size of Kronos. The odd thing is, during the next age of the dinosaurs, the Jurassic period, some of the largest species seem to have appeared. But there is a very reasonable explanation for this phenomena under this new theory.
As the Earth was being bombarded by planetary fragments during the Triassic period, oceanic water and gases crept up from below to fill in the gaps created by impact events, leaving empty caverns underground. The ground shifted to fill in these spaces causing the land masses began to break apart and move along the already existing rivers and fault lines. And, while the impact events sent billions of tons of material flying into deep space, a lot of material from the bombarding fragments also filled in some of the gaps they left behind on Earth. The result was a thick, sun-blotting-out cloud cover that grew in density over a long period of time. A planet-wide ice age didn’t set in right away because the colliding fragments also caused another problem – a massive increase in volcanic activity and eruptions (not to mention that they constantly ripped through the thick clouds overhead, exposing sunlight to the world below). The flowing magma and oceans swirled in a constant dance, destroying and creating everything in their wake. The clouds that kept out the warm sun would have also frozen the planet except that they kept in the minimal amount of heat from the volcanic activity around and at the center of the planet. For this reason, the air was colder, and for a cold-blooded species, this was dangerous. For a short period of time (leading up to and during the Jurassic period), the dinosaurs grew in size as a natural necessity to build/store/produce more heat internally.
Then, there was the first of 4 major impacts on the Earth, happening at the end of the Triassic period. The constant Earthquakes and land shifts were devastating on the eco system and the vegetation quickly declined. During this chaotic time (the Jurassic period), the carnivores began to outnumber the herbivores.
The Earth’s separation from Kronos was allowing it to cool down and the polar caps of the Earth began to develop. This provides an additional argument against oxygen being the source for the larger size of the dinosaurs. During the Jurassic period, although the dinosaurs were growing, the freezing of the polar ice caps meant that the oxygen was slowly decreasing/stabilizing.
Then, the final age of the dinosaurs was heralded in by the second of four major fragments striking the planet. Rather than causing massive, cavernous regions underground, there was now enough surface water to slow the impact. Although devastating, the absorption of the fragment in the ocean had not dramatically affected the dinosaurs and had less impact on the land. As the land masses slowly stopped shifting and the Earth had been sufficiently devastated, reducing its size to 1/3 of its previous mass, the continents had formed and between the Jurassic and the Cretaceous period (the last era of the dinosaurs), the planet had begun to cool down (as the falling fragments decreased in frequency but the thick and heavy cloud cover remained around the planet), the gravity had increased (as the core warmed up with the ocean having moved toward the surface, giving it more rotational energy), and the dinosaurs were massively altered by two, main factors. The first factor was that a cooling planet provided for less greens and the herbivores were running low on food. Nature had reduced their numbers, and in accordance with the balance of all things, reduced the number of carnivores. Second, the increased gravity had impacted the growth of many dinosaurs, slowly decreasing their size and altering their shape and form as their density was increasing.
Now, for the final part of this theory – the part that only offers a possibility of what could have been based on the sequence of events that had occurred previously. Did the dinosaurs die out? The species had been riddled by radioactivity, volcanic activity, catastrophic impact events, land shifts, rising oceans, shrinking land masses, food shortages, outrageously shifting temperature variations … and by the Cretaceous period – a moon had begun its initial stages of formation. But, in every period (Triassic, Jurassic, and possibly Cretaceous), the dinosaurs continued to thrive. Additionally, to argue that the strongest and most resilient species with 180 million years of survival just quickly vanished, but the tiny monkeys outlasted the food shortages, massive ice shifts across the continents, and other such factors, is a poor explanation at best. In the 65 million years between dinosaurs and humans, did fish crawl out of the sea onto land to become mammals (ignoring that this event had not happened during the previous 245 million years as a good indication that this probably didn’t happen)? This alternate theory rejects that proposal.
The concept of evolution (from lizard to mammal) is a heavily flawed theory as the nature of evolution is more likely than not, limited to a change in form, not in nature (aka there is not a change in the subatomic structure of a species, only the addition/removal of a limb or feature). For example, a hairy mammal can lose its hair and stand upright, changing its form, but its nature remains the same. Darwin’s work on the Galapagos Islands seemingly examined creatures that had more changed their form than their nature. So, for a reptilian carnivore to become a hairy tiger is a stretch without any good scientific support (the DNA would simply not support such a change). Science has argued that dinosaurs were unintelligent creatures by the small size of their brain, comparing them to creatures such as chipmunks. But – science only knows what it can presume without the ability to think outside the box.
Not every species in the universe has to have all, or even part of its brain, contained solely within the “brain cavity.” In fact, there is much to argue that intelligence can also be saturated into the very cells of a body, contained within its DNA. So, did the dinosaurs, with 180 million years of existence and an ever-pressing / genocidal-preventing need to evolve – get smarter? One difficult argument that must be addressed:
What came before the dinosaurs?
Just because there are no skeletons left after 245 million years does not mean that there were no other species on the Earth. Just because there are not skeletons readily available from dinosaurs that evolved 65 million years ago into something more intelligent that left the planet doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen.
The absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence. In other words, if they did leave – with or without a species that existed alongside them from before – no one on Earth today would know it or have evidence of it, or have any way to prove or disprove that it occurred. If they were escorted off the planet, no one would know, either. On the other hand, there is still another 65 million, long, cold years between the last “age” of dinosaurs, on a planet that was thoroughly shredded, to give way for the last of the dinosaurs to die out. Occam’s razor (the simplest explanation), is not an easy cop-out that can be used in this situation since there is no simple explanation for the complete disappearance of a species that survived two, previous, apocalyptic events.
Another alternate possibility available under this alternate theory is the presence of a newly formed moon, causing massive electromagnetic effects on the bodies of all creatures today that could have caused major, emotional trauma and suffering for creatures as large as dinosaurs (especially given the water content in their bodies).
As previously stated – no one alive today will know what happened until the window into the past is fully opened. But, it’s clear that there was no single, giant meteor capable of displacing 100 times the volume of the moon (which would have been around 20% or more of the entire planet), in a single shot without having dramatically displaced the entire planet from its orbit. A meteor of that size and speed could have also carried enough radioactivity to effectively destroy every possibility of life on Earth. It’s also clear that the dinosaurs didn’t alter their DNA into a completely different species and nature to fly away. Yet, a nearby planet, large enough to dwarf Jupiter, with a species (even humanoid in nature), could have existed and shared its DNA with Earth (further explaining some of the ‘not-so-native’ species on Earth). A planet of Kronos’ size with an intelligent species on it could have been responsible for populating Earth, long before the Triassic period, like a zoo (or a dinosaur based theme park …. Michael Crichton, anyone?).
So, without actually answering the question and only posing another theory, what can you take from this?
If a world larger than Jupiter met its fate in an instant and was shattered into a million pieces spread throughout the Universe – than how fragile is life on planet Earth? How long before a solar flare, an exploding piece of debris, or a comet heads toward Earth? Is there time for hatred, bickering, and anger? The truth is that the dinosaurs are no longer on Earth. A world was lost in the blink of an eye. And, there’s evidence that not even the dinosaurs often had warning enough to avoid being trapped by fire, tar, lava, rock, ice, and more.
So, enjoy the wonderment of new possibilities and new ideas. Just remember, with every new discovery comes a lesson that should not be easily dismissed or forgotten.