possible causes of the dinosaur extinction if an asteroid didn’t do it


“Well, everyone knows Custer died at Little Bighorn. What this book presupposes is . . . maybe he didn’t?” —Eli Cash in The Royal Tenenbaums

. . . And everyone knows the dinos went extinct because of an asteroid impact. What these two geologists presuppose is . . . maybe they didn’t?

If not, here are some ideas as to what really did wipe out the dinosaurs:

  • Mass volcanic eruptions in the Deccan Traps in present-day India.
  • Land-bridge formation leads to species admixture and spread of disease.
  • Deadly ankle-nibbling by rudimentary rodent-like mammals.
  • Dinosaur-eating spiders.
  • Dinosaurs discover time-travel, journey one billion years into future en masse.
  • Murder-suicide.
  • Wrath of God.
  • Wrath of Khan.
  • Dinosaurs discover faster-than-light space travel, journey one billion light years from Earth en masse.
  • Dinosaur economists speculate wildly on fossil fuels, only to discover fossil fuels can’t exist until all dinosaurs die. Ensuing killing spree framed as “necessary to drive economic growth.”
  • Charismatic hadrosaur cult leader convinces dinosaurs to drink the Kool-Aid.
  • Bad parenting.
  • Poor dental hygiene caused by T-Rex’s inability to brush own teeth leads to loss of predation ability and ruinous explosion in herbivore population causing ecosystem collapse.
  • Tainted love.
  • Dinosaurs thought, “WWJD?” And actually went through with it. Yes: they died for our sins.


The greatest mystery of all, though, is why Time filed this piece under “Health.” Whose health, exactly? Does the editorial staff at Time know something about dinosaurs we don’t?

Enjoy the weekend. If possible, speculate wildly.


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