If you look at the skeletal structure of many dinosaurs, the link between them and parrots is a no-brainer. Still, it took the scientific community forever to accept this as a possibility. Down the road, it was proposed by a small group of paleontologists that some dinosaurs may have been feathered. They were treated like lepers…until fossilized feathers were found among the remains of a dinosaur previously thought to be covered in scales.
The theory has been that parrots evolved from the theropod family, which includes the infamous T-rex. However, fossilized remains of bird-like dinosaurs have been found that predate the theropods, by millions of years. Ooops. Little oversight there.
The impact theory, which tries to explain the extinction of dinosaurs, goes something like this: A Mt. Everest sized asteroid struck the earth about 65 million years ago on the Yucatan Peninsula. It left an impact crater about 180 miles in diameter, causing tsunamis three miles high and throwing debris out of our atmosphere. On it’s way through our atmosphere, the asteroid grew so hot that trees for thousands of miles burst into flame. Its impact compressed layers limestone buried in our earths surface causing a chemical reaction forcing sulfuric acid into the atmosphere which late rained down.
Many dinosaurs were incinerated on impact, others were nailed by the tsunamis and acid rain. There were a large group of dinosaurs that were far enough away from the impact zone to survive. Scientists figure they may have lasted as long as three weeks. As the skies grew dark from the debris in the atmosphere, the plants died and the plant eating dinosaurs starved to death. Once they were gone the carnivores no longer had a food source, and they died.
With all the theorizing, I have had two shining questions:
1) Where are the bodies? I understand that the incinerated ones will never be found, but what about the rest? Why is there no evidence of mass extinction? There should be thousands of the fossilized remains of these unfortunate dinosaurs in the layer of earth that marks the cretaceous-tertiary period when all of this took place. Where are they?
2) If dinosaurs were made extinct by this horrific event, how is it that we are living with their descendants?? This is the closest thing to an answer I have found. This is not news to we parrot owners, but I still feel unsatisfied.
Author Patty Jourgensen specializes in avian health, behavior and nutrition and has been working with and caring for rescue birds since 1987.