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Dinosaur Deep Freeze

An animated short suggests dinosaurs died out for want of winter coats

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There is no shortage of ideas about why the non-avian dinosaurs went extinct about 66 million years ago. There are so many hypotheses, in fact, that I have seen some museums put up signs warning visitors of various ideas with no evidence (ice age, disease, aliens) rather than list all the other contenders that have been taken seriously. Even now, the mass extinction that wiped out Triceratops and its kin is mysterious. We know an asteroid struck the earth at a critical time, there were massive volcanic eruptions among prehistoric India’s Deccan Traps, sea levels were dropping, and habitats were changing, but exactly how these various factors translated into one of the world’s worst environmental catastrophes is still being debated.

The animated short “Snow Day” by Kim Hazel takes a different view. Dinosaurs simply couldn’t bundle up in time. The efforts of Hazel’s doomed dinosaur to put on a sock remind me of something that might appear on “T-Rex Trying… .” I seriously doubt that dinosaurs pulled on socks, though. If dinosaurs slipped into any warm footwear, would they not have preferred slippers made from the fuzzy mammals that were always underfoot?

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About Brian Switek
Brian Switek

Brian Switek is a freelance science writer specializing in evolution, paleontology, and natural history. He writes regularly for National Geographic's Phenomena blog as Laelaps.

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