Questions and Answers Summary of DinosaurTheory

What is DinosaurTheory?

DinosaurTheory is a revolutionary science website written by a college physic instructor. While it is true that DinosaurTheory explains how the dinosaurs grew so large, it is actually much more than that. The paradox of the large dinosaurs is just one of about a half dozen major scientific paradoxes connected to the Mesozoic era. These paradoxes presented themselves because scientists made incorrect assumptions about how the Earth evolved and so they could not imagine how the Mesozoic era’s environment could be dramatically different from the present environment. DinosaurTheory gives the correct explanation of how the planets evolve and in particular how the Earth evolved and it is this new understanding that solves these numerous scientific paradoxes.

Flying kite

This research project began several decades ago when I was building an exceptionally large kite. I was making the calculations for scaling up a diamond shaped kite to be three times larger when I realized that the area to volume ratio changes with size and that this could affect the flying ability of my kite. I was astonished that my science classes and textbooks made no mention of how some properties of an object are determined by the object’s size. Decades later I was astonished again when I learn that Galileo had wrote a book to explain how size matters. How was it that I, and almost everyone else, did not learn of this scientific concept in grade school?

The fact that size affects the properties of objects is an extremely important scientific concept that is relevant to nearly every science discipline, and yet hardly any science teachers are aware that Galileo wrote extensively about this and likewise science teachers rarely give this topic the attention that it deserves. This is not the fault of these grade school science teachers. A major difficulty with teaching students the significance of size is that smart students will realize that the large dinosaurs of the Mesozoic era are indeed a scientific paradox, and this does not please most paleontologists who would prefer to divert attention away from the fact that for the past two centuries they have been unable to solve this paradox.

After several years of working as a college physics instructor, I decided to put forth a serious effort to solve the paradox of how the dinosaurs grew so large. What I soon discovered was that there was not one but several major scientific paradoxes associated with the Mesozoic era: how did pterosaurs fly, the unique shape of the dinosaurs, the uniform global climate of the Mesozoic era, the paradox of how birds evolve the ability to fly, how dolomite formed, and so on. And then I realized that one solution solves them all: during the Mesozoic era the Earth had an extremely thick atmosphere. It is a solution that most people could not even imagine, and that is precisely why the scientists who first worked on these scientific paradoxes fail to consider the possibility.

DinosaurTheory is a remarkable scientific breakthrough. Beyond solving these scientific paradoxes that have stumped paleontologists for decades and even centuries there is actually much more. Once we realize that the Earth’s atmosphere was thicker than what it is today we are able to understand the evolution of life on this planet. From DinosaurTheory we learn what heats the Earth’s interior, how the Earth evolved, and in fact we learn how all the planets and moons of our solar system evolved. Recognizing that the Earth previously had a much thicker atmosphere is comparable to when mankind realized that the Earth is round: for both events the supporting evidence is overwhelming and yet the recognition of the truth was delayed because most people lack the necessary imagination.

Are the exceptionally large dinosaurs and pterosaurs of the Mesozoic era really a scientific paradox?

landscape picure that includes dinosaurs

This questioning on whether large dinosaurs are a scientific paradox should not even be a matter for debate since Galileo had explained why size matters centuries ago. Yes, size matters. Galileo’s Square Cube Law explains how size matters for all real objects and of course this includes dinosaurs. If this is a new concept to you then you are encouraged to Google ‘Galileo’s Square Cube Law’ or just read the first chapter of DinosaurTheory.

Even though species such as African elephants and giraffes push the physical limits on the maximum size and height that is possible, many dinosaurs were about three times larger than these present day terrestrial animals. Furthermore, flying reptiles known as pterosaurs grew to be much larger than the largest flying modern birds and they did this even though no reptile today, no matter how small, is capable of flying. Clearly there must have been something different about the Mesozoic era that allowed Mesozoic animals to grow so much larger than modern day terrestrial animals. The assumption of paleontologists – that large dinosaurs could stand up on their feet or that pterosaurs could fly in today’s world – is wrong. There is currently considerable misinformation on the internet and even in science classrooms regarding the related questions of how dinosaurs grew so large or how pterosaurs flew, and sadly most of this disinformation is coming from paleontologists.

How is it that scientists are spreading disinformation and actively fighting against a better understanding of our reality?

The most fundamental premise of science is that we exist in a rational reality. We must first accept this premise to give meaning for why we try to make sense of our observations for the purpose of understanding our reality. After making several observations we may be able to form hypotheses on the workings of some aspect of nature. Then further testing and gathering of evidence will either strengthen or disprove our beliefs.

That is the way science is suppose to work, however it often fails to work because it requires scientists to be unbiased and objective observers who are simply dedicated to the advancement of science, and yet this is rarely the case. Just as much as anyone else, scientists are surprisingly capable of misinterpreting evidence in addition to being biased in drawing their conclusions. Furthermore, once they feel that they have the answer they can be extremely hardheaded in dismissing conflicting evidence and viscously attacking anyone that disagrees with them.

This aspect of how scientists often impede scientific progress was explained by the physicist Max Planck, “A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it”. This quote is often shorten to simply state “science advances one funeral at a time”.

The dysfunctional nature of the science community has always been a serious problem throughout the history of science, and yet within recent times this broken system has somehow managed to become much worse. Within the last several decades several scientists have seriously compromised science by promoting the idea that the ‘consensus of leading scientists’ can be used as a substitute in place of citing actual evidence in support of their beliefs. What these scientists are doing is wrong and their attempt to redefine science is having the effect of diminishing the credibility of science. All true scientific beliefs need to be supported by strong physical evidence; otherwise it is not actually science.

Could you give a brief description of these scientific paradoxes that existed before the discovery that the Mesozoic atmosphere was extremely thick and how this extremely thick atmosphere solves each of these scientific paradoxes?

1) Exceptionally Large Terrestrial Animals: Dinosaurs

If we increase the size of an object then we also increase the strain on the material that makes up the object, and if we go too far the object will break. This applies to biological material – life – in the same way as it applies to any inanimate object that we might construct. Modern species such as African elephants, giraffes, and many other species are already pushing the physical constraints of what is possible in regards to bone and muscle strength and blood pressure, and yet the largest dinosaurs grew to be at least three times larger than modern terrestrial species. Thus, something had to be different about the environment to allow the dinosaurs to grow so large, and that something was the fact that during the Mesozoic era the Earth had an extremely thick atmosphere. During the Mesozoic era Earth had an extremely thick atmosphere that provided an upward buoyancy force that effectively reduced the weight of the dinosaurs. By reducing the effective weight of the dinosaurs, the stress on bones, the relative muscle strength, and even the blood pressure on the largest dinosaurs was no greater than what is currently experienced by the largest and tallest terrestrial animals of today.

dinosaur display

2) Unique Shape of Dinosaurs

While we often focus on the size of the dinosaurs, there is another aspect about these animals that is also an oddity, and that is the shape of the dinosaurs. Most dinosaurs had much stronger rear legs than their fore legs, and most dinosaurs had an extremely strong muscular tail. While these features could have been helpful to them if they were constantly wading through shallow lakes, this idea conflicts with the considerable evidence indicating that nearly all dinosaurs were fully terrestrial animals. This begs the question of why did they evolve this form that is best suited for movement through a thick fluid. The conflict is solved when we realize that they were moving through an extremely thick atmosphere whose density was comparable to the density of water. Once we recognize this we can understand why fore limbs were small for both bipedal carnivores like T-rex and quad-pedal herbivores such as edmontosaurus. During a chase when these animals are trying to run as fast as they can through the thick fluid, their fore limbs would be useless since these limbs would hardly touch the ground: in a thick fluid these fore limbs are nothing more than a drag impeding their forward motion. Furthermore a muscular tail is the most common way that animals propel themselves through thick fluids and likewise the strong muscular tail of a dinosaur was quite helpful in propelling dinosaurs through the extremely thick Mesozoic atmosphere.

3) Large Flying Reptiles

Despite the fact that the metabolism of existing cold blooded reptiles is too low to enable reptiles to fly, the reptilian pterosaurs not only flew but grew to being the largest animals that ever flew. Many paleontologists shrug off this paradox by stating that pterosaurs should not be compared to birds – the largest and most successful flying animals – because these groups are vastly different fliers with no common ancestral connection. However, such a statement implies that pterosaurs are somehow superior to birds when in fact birds are vastly superior to pterosaurs both aerodynamically and metabolically. For further evidence of this science paradox, there is no RC model flying demonstration, or physics or aerodynamic flight equations that could give us hope in believing that these pterosaurs could fly in our present atmosphere. So how did they fly? Pterosaurs were able to fly because the much thicker Mesozoic atmosphere vastly lowered the power requirement for flight. Furthermore, the flight equations show that the takeoff and flight speeds of these animals was much lower, and this explains how these large animals could takeoff and why they did not need to be as aerodynamic as modern day birds.

4) Exceptionally Large Flying Birds

Over the past several decades feathered dinosaurs have been the talk of the paleontology world. These include the Velociraptor, Deinonychus, and Utahraptor and many others. Many of these species are quite large and this is most likely the reason why paleontologists could not accept the fact that they were fliers. Nevertheless, these species are not feathered dinosaurs as these paleontologists have claimed but rather these are ancestral birds, and we know that this is true because of the numerous bird features that these fossils display. The most obvious evidence is that there are flight feathers, and these flight feathers appear in the correct places to provide balance equilibrium lift for these flying animals. Specifically, these animals had flight feathers on their stiff tails and some even had flight feathers on their hind limbs in order to balance the flight feathers on their fore limbs / wings. Furthermore, while paleontologists show all of the raptors’ claws facing forward – the direction needed for extensive walking - in reality one of the talons of these ancestral birds faced backwards. This allowed these birds to perch on tree branches. It also allowed these flying predators to pounce on and clench their prey in a manner similar to how present-day eagles grab and carry fish and rabbits. The reason these extremely large ancestral birds were able to fly is because the extremely thick Mesozoic atmosphere dramatically lowered the power required to fly.

Ancestral Bird Fossil Ancestral Bird Drawing

5) Nearly Uniform Global Temperature

Another oddity of the Mesozoic era was that there was no ice at the poles during the Mesozoic era. This was not because the Earth was significantly warmer but rather it was because there was almost no difference in temperature between the lower latitudes and that of the Polar Regions. In fact, besides the lack of ice at the Polar Regions there was no ice at the top of mountains either; during the Mesozoic era it was nearly the same balmy weather all over the Earth. Fossils of dinosaurs and temperate Mesozoic plants are found in the Polar Regions just as much as they are found anywhere else. The extremely thick Mesozoic atmosphere is what made this possible. Unlike today’s thin atmosphere that is not very efficient in transferring solar heat from the lower latitudes to the upper latitudes, the thick Mesozoic atmosphere had one extremely strong convection current in each hemisphere that was highly efficient in moving the warm air near the equator to the northern and southern Polar Regions. In addition, while today’s atmosphere’s triple convection pattern produces a band of vast deserts between 20 and 35 degree latitude, similar desert bands did not exist during the Mesozoic era because during the Mesozoic there was a single atmospheric convection pattern for each hemisphere.

6) Earth’s Unique Atmosphere

Students taking astronomy, geology, meteorology or any other class requiring a discussion of Earth’s atmosphere should note that while they are told that the atmosphere is 78% nitrogen and 21% oxygen, there is rarely any discussion of why Earth’s atmosphere is different from that of the other planets. There should be some logical reason for why the planets have their different atmospheric compositions, and there is. For example the atmospheres of the outer planets are mostly hydrogen and helium, while due to their closer proximity to the Sun, the standard atmosphere of terrestrial planet is mostly carbon dioxide and a small percentage of nitrogen. If Earth evolved the same way as the other terrestrial planets then it too would have a carbon dioxide atmosphere. But instead, Earth’s atmosphere is mostly nitrogen and oxygen. The origin of Earth’s atmosphere may seem a mystery until we realize that all we have to do is start with the standard terrestrial atmosphere then remove nearly all of the carbon dioxide and add oxygen. Not only does this explain how Earth’s atmosphere got its unique composition it also explains how it could transition from having an extremely thick atmosphere to having a relatively thin atmosphere.

Why did you derive the Science of Flight Equations?

Picture of Pterosaur

The fossils of extremely large flying reptiles – the pterosaurs - should have caused the paleontology community to wonder how this was possible since presently not even the smallest reptiles are capable of flight. But instead of studying physics and aerodynamics for the purpose of solving the paradox, most paleontologists focused on trying to convince the public that there was no scientific paradox.

How cold-blooded reptiles could fly and how these pterosaurs could grow to be the largest animals that ever flew is even more of a wonder than the large dinosaurs, yet explaining precisely why these large pterosaurs would not be able to fly in today’s atmosphere was a bit more difficult. This was because there was no correct theoretical understanding of flight. Even though science teachers have been using Bernoulli’s Principle to explain how airplanes fly, this commonly used explanation is not correct, and this is something that leading aerodynamic experts are only now finally admitting. Thus, it was not possible to give a scientific explanation of why pterosaurs would not be able to fly in today atmosphere without first deriving a simple and correct explanation of general flight that is applicable to both airplanes and flying vertebrates. And so I took up the challenge.

The author’s derivation of the Science of Flight Equations is a triumph for science as it shows the usefulness of physics and mathematics for understanding our reality. The derivation of the Science of Flight Equations is chapter three of DinosaurTheory.

What is the source of the Earth’s internal heat?

Nearly all of the planets and moons of our solar system have been evolving ever since the solar system formed and it is the internal heat within these heavenly bodies that drives their evolution. Once we understand the mechanism that heats the interior of these objects we can begin to understand why Earth’s atmosphere is so unique.

Lava coming down the side of a volcano

Geologists have offered several hypotheses as to why the interior of the Earth is so hot - primordial heat from extraterrestrial impacts and gravitational compacting, radioactive decay of unstable isotopes, and tidal flexing – and while all of these may have previously heated the Earth to some extent, it is all but impossible to determine which is the primary cause of Earth’s current internal heat. The problem that geologists have in solving their mystery is that it is impossible to gather ground truth evidence from deep within the Earth. No matter how deep we drill, Earth is so large in comparison to our dig that we are really just scratching the surface. As it is, scientists know more about stars that are millions of lightyears away than what they know about what exist deep within the Earth, and likewise, looking up rather than down is the direction that we need to face in order to solve this puzzle.

While radioactivity decay is being taught in science classes as the most favored explanation of geologists, planetary scientists have realized that this hypothesis does not work for explaining the interior warming of planets or moons. Starting with a fresh perspective they realize that the volcano activity on Io – Jupiter’s closest large moon – was the result of tidal flexing. Io, like all of Jupiter’s moons, is locked in synchronous rotation such that one side always faces Jupiter as it rotates and revolves around Jupiter. This is because tidal forces stretch the moon in the direction of Jupiter. This by itself would not cause internal heating, however about every three and a half days Io laps Europa, the next closest moon, and when it does the shape of these moons contort due to the attraction to each other. The constant flexing that comes every few days creates internal heat within these moons.

While initially scientists were trying to explain the volcano activity on Io they realized that this interaction between Io and Europa also explains why there is liquid water beneath Europa’s icy surface. In continuing on with this thought process they realized that actually all of the large moons of our solar system are experiencing tidal heating. It is only a matter of time before all scientists realize that tidal heating is the primary mechanism heating the interior of all the planets and moons of our solar system, including Earth.

The benefit of recognizing how tidal forces warm the interior of moon and planets is that this gives us great insight into how these objects evolve. As the internal temperature goes up inside these heavenly bodies the lighter compounds break free and eventually migrate to the surface. Once on the surface, these lighter compounds will react with solids on the surface, become the planet’s atmosphere, or escape out to space. The lightest gasses - hydrogen and helium – make up the lion’s share of these volcanic gases and for terrestrial planets and moons these are the gasses that are being lost out to space. Furthermore, as these planets or moons lose these light gasses the overall density of the material left behind increases; in other words, tidal heating increases the density of these heavenly bodies. The very strong correlation between the amount of tidal heating a planet or moon experiences over its lifetime and its current density confirms the fact that tidal heating is the mechanism warming the Earth and the other heavenly bodies. Please see chapters seven, eight, and twelve for more details on how tidal heating causes planets and moons to evolve.

How could Earth have a thicker atmosphere?

If a planet or moon’s gravitational field is strong enough to hold onto an atmosphere, then there is nothing limiting the thickness of its atmosphere. Apparently this is one of those thoughts that once it is stated it makes perfect sense, but until it is stated few people would realize that it is possible. Hence, most people just assumed that the thickness of the Earth’s atmosphere has been more or less constant throughout time, when in reality the thickness of Earth’s atmosphere has changed dramatically at least a few times throughout the billions of years of Earth’s existence.

Planets of Our Solar System

To better understand how Earth could have a thicker atmosphere we need to first talk about the atmospheres of planets in general.

The gasses that become a terrestrial planet’s atmosphere come from its interior, and furthermore, whether a planet can hold these gasses is determined by its proximity to the Sun. This is because radiation from the Sun warms the surface of these planets such that the closer a planet is to the Sun the warmer the planet is likely to be and if it is too hot the gasses will escape out to space. Starting with the planet closest to the Sun and moving outward, the planets of our solar system are Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. Mercury is too close to the Sun to hold on to any real atmosphere, the terrestrial planets of Venus, Earth, and Mars can hold on to the heavier gasses, while the much larger planets that are farther away – Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune - can hold on to all gasses. Since the lightest gasses - hydrogen and helium – are by far the most abundant gasses the outer planets, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune, are mostly just hydrogen and helium.

Because Venus, Earth, and Mars are closer to the Sun, where it is warmer, these terrestrial planets cannot hold on to helium or hydrogen: the lightest gasses. With these gasses removed from consideration, we should expect uniformity in the composition of the atmospheres of these terrestrial planets. This is based on the reasonable assumptions that these planets all form at about the same time, from nearly the same material, and had similar volcanic gasses released onto their surfaces. In addition, if the temperature differences are not too great, the volcanic gasses released on each of these planets would behave in similar ways regarding whether they will react with minerals on the surface, remain in the atmosphere, or fly out to space. Our assumptions appear to be true for Venus and Mars since these planets have nearly identical atmosphere compositions of about 96% carbon dioxide and 3% nitrogen. However, Earth stands out as an oddity because its atmosphere composition is about 78% nitrogen and 21% oxygen. This may seem perplexing at first until we realize that if Earth started out similar to the other planets with roughly a 96% carbon dioxide and 3% nitrogen it could easily transition to its present atmosphere by simply losing its carbon dioxide gas while gaining some oxygen, and in fact this is precisely what happened. Throughout most of the Earth’s history the Earth has had a rather thick carbon dioxide atmosphere; it is only because there was water and life on Earth that Earth’s atmosphere made its transition to its present state.

Pie Chart and Graph showing How Earth Achieved its Present Atmosphere Simply by Removing Carbon Dioxide and 
Adding Oxygen from Its Original Standard Terrestrial Planet Atmosphere Pie Chart and Graph showing How Earth Achieved its Present Atmosphere Simply by Removing Carbon Dioxide and Adding Oxygen from Its Original Standard Terrestrial Planet Atmosphere

Now that we recognize that the standard atmosphere of a terrestrial planet is about 96% carbon dioxide and 3% nitrogen, let’s now consider what determines the thickness of these atmospheres.

As noted, the compositions of the atmosphere of Venus and Mars are all but identical, and yet there is a huge difference in the thickness of their atmospheres: the atmosphere of Venus is over ten thousand times thicker than the atmosphere of Mars. There are at least three factors contributing to this imbalance: first, Mars is roughly ten times smaller than Venus, next, because Mars is farther away from the Sun the tidal forces are much weaker on Mars than they are on Venus, and perhaps the most important factor is that volcanic gasses cannot migrate to the surface until a minimum internal temperature is reached. The consequence of the last two factors is that most of these lighter gases remain trapped within the interior of Mars, and this conclusion is backed up by the fact that Mars has a much lower density than Venus. Venus has a density of 5.2 g/cm3 while the density of Mars is 3.9 g/cm3, thus indicating that Venus has exhausted far more volcanic gasses on its surface than Mars.

Currently Venus has an atmosphere that is about ninety times thicker than Earth’s atmosphere and yet throughout most of Earth’s history its atmosphere has been thicker than Venus’ atmosphere.

If we just consider the tidal forces exerted by the Sun then we would think that tidal heating would be greater for Venus than Earth. However, Earth has received much more tidal heating than Venus because Earth has a large moon and the Earth’s moon produces stronger tidal forces on Earth than what the Sun applies to Venus. This was especially true billions of years ago when the Moon was much closer to Earth. The consequence of this is that far more volcanic gasses have been pumped out onto Earth’s surface than on the surface of Venus. We see the evidence confirming this fact when we compare the density of these two planets. The greater the internal heating, the more volcanic gasses exhausted on the surface, the greater amount of light gasses being lost to space and hence the greater the density of the moon or planet. While Venus has a density of 5.2 g/cm3 Earth has a density of 5.5 g/cm3. Earth has the highest density of any planet or moon in our solar system.

The evidence is clear, if not for special events occurring on Earth, the Earth would have a predominantly carbon dioxide atmosphere similar to Venus except that Earth’s atmosphere would be much thicker. However Earth took its own unique path. Today Earth’s atmosphere is different from the atmospheres of other terrestrial planets, because once water accumulated on the surface of Earth, life evolved and life changed the Earth

Why is Earth’s atmosphere so different from the other planets?

Mars, Earth, and Venus

To answer this question let us start by thinking about how a portion of the planet’s volcanic gasses can become its atmosphere. Since neither Venus or Mars has active volcanoes, all of our data for volcanic gasses has to come from Earth’s volcanoes, and we are just going to have to assume that the volcanic activity that previously occurred on these other planets was similar to Earth’s current activity. If we take the collective average output of various volcanic sources on Earth we find that volcanic gasses consists of water vapor as the most abundant volcanic gas followed by carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and small amounts of various other gasses. Considering the vast amounts of water vapor being released on Earth’s surface we see the logical connection to the fact that Earth is now covered by vast oceans of water. All is well except that, assuming that the volcanic activity was similar on the other planets, we must now wonder what happened to the water on the other terrestrial planets.

Even though water was released on all the terrestrial planets it did not last long on Venus and Mars because UV radiation from the Sun easily breaks the water into hydrogen and oxygen: the hydrogen is quickly lost out to space and the highly reactive oxygen quickly reacted with minerals on the surface. We see evidence of this in the fact that while Mars is noted for being the red planet due to this oxidation there is actually a considerable amount of mineral oxidation on all of these planets.

But how did Earth hold on to at least some of its water?

Recall that much more volcanic gasses were being released on Earth than what was released on the other terrestrial planets. This means that much more water was being pumped out onto Earth’s surface than on other planets, and this is the water that was then being broken up by the UV radiation. There was so much oxygen being set free that then reacted with minerals on the surface that it reached a saturation point; just how saturated the Earth is with oxygen is apparent in the fact that the Earth’s crust is 47% oxygen. Another possible source of this abundant oxygen could have come from the plant life on Earth: oxygen is a left over product of photosynthesis. Regardless of which of these processes was the primary cause, once the ozone layer formed from this excessive atmospheric oxygen it blocked UV radiation from reaching the Earth’s surface. Since the UV radiation was no longer reaching the Earth’s surface water molecules were no longer being destroyed and water began to accumulate on Earth’s surface at a much faster rate.

Once Earth was able to hold on to a portion of its water it continued on further with the evolution of life and then that life played an important role in changing Earth’s atmosphere. Interesting enough, most of Earth’s extremely thick carbon dioxide atmosphere was not removed by plants but by other forms of life. Carbon dioxide is readily absorbs into water and from there marine bacteria are thought to facilitate the formation of carbonated rock. Besides marine bacteria, there were also marine animals that are actually even more proficient at removing carbon dioxide. They did this by creating large, small, and microscopic sea shells that accumulated on the seafloor that were then converted to limestone. Carbonated rock currently makes up twenty percent of all of Earth’s sedimentary rock; the main source of these carbonated rock layers was the Earth’s previous thick carbon dioxide atmosphere.

The accumulation of water on Earth’s surface and the evolution of life that followed set Earth on an evolutionary path that led it to having an atmosphere that is unique from all the other planets and moons of our solar system.

Periods and eras of the Phanerozoic

Could you please summarize the geological evidence indicating that the Earth’s atmosphere was previously much thicker than what it is today?

There is actually a whole set of geological evidence to indicate when the atmosphere is thick and different set of geological evidence that indicates when the atmosphere is thin and when we look at these indicators we realize that the Earth’s atmosphere as cycled back and forth between thick and thin at least twice. Even though carbon dioxide was being remove from the atmosphere throughout the Paleozoic era it still remained thick up until near the end of the Carboniferous period. During the last period of Paleozoic era, the Permian period, the atmosphere was thin. However, the P-T mass extinction - often referred to as the mother of mass extinctions – occurred near the end of the Permian period killing nearly all life and without life removing the carbon dioxide the atmosphere started its transition back to being thick. Throughout most of the Mesozoic era the atmosphere was thick; the atmosphere’s transition back to being thin mostly took place after the Mesozoic era came to an end. Similar to the much earlier Carboniferous period, the Tertiary Period was a time when the atmosphere was transitioning from thick to thin. Finally our present Quaternary period has been a thin atmosphere time similar to the earlier Permian period.

Because the Paleozoic era is the most recent portion of the Earth’s 4.6 billion year history and because this era is rich with fossils it is far easier to be certain about what went on during this last half billion years that it is to understand the four billion years that came earlier. Based on this evidence it appears the Earth’s atmosphere has cycled back and forth twice, while there is still much uncertainty on what the atmosphere was doing during the four billion years that came before this.

Because the Earth has twice cycled between thick and thin atmosphere states there is matching geological evidence between these cycles. When the atmosphere is thick there is moderate climate all over the Earth and no ice at the poles. When the atmosphere is thin the Earth is relatively quickly cycling through ‘normal times’ like now with ice at the poles and Ice Ages glaciers reaching down to the middle latitudes. To get idea of how often these cycles occur please consider the fact that in West Virginia they have named 117 coal seams. When the atmosphere is transitioning from thin to thick we see few and any carbonated rock deposits. When the atmosphere is transitioning from thick to thin we see massive carbonated rock deposits with appropriate geological names: Carboniferous period for the first transition and Cretaceous period (limestone chalk) for the second.

Ice Age

Some of the strongest evidence showing that the Earth went through these thick atmosphere periods comes from this theory’s ability to solve countless paradoxes regarding the evolution of life on Earth. We can understand why some species thrived while others faded into extinction. Knowing when the atmosphere is either thick or thin allows us to understand how birds and even reptile were able to evolve the ability to fly when earlier they could not. Currently the belief of paleontologists is that the large size of the dinosaurs is a ‘dinosaur thing’, and yet this leaves them with no means of explaining the Paraceratherium - the nearly dinosaur size rhinoceros that came along during the first half of the Tertiary period. The reason the Paraceratherium was able to grow so large was because the atmosphere was still thick at the beginning of the Tertiary period; the atmosphere was not thin until near the end of the Tertiary period. It is only after we chart out when the Earth’s atmosphere was thick, thin, or transitioning between these states that we can make sense of the fossil record.

The science paradoxes of how the dinosaurs grew so large, how the pterosaurs flew, and how the Earth had such a uniform climate throughout the Mesozoic era are just a few of the countless science paradoxes that have gone unsolved for several decades and even centuries. DinosaurTheory solves these science paradoxes by giving a new understanding of how the planets evolved and how the Earth previous had an extremely thick atmosphere that affected the evolution of life on Earth.