Hell Creek
May 14, 2022 2:13 PM   Subscribe

Dinosaur Apocalypse Newly found fossils may reveal an unprecedented snapshot of the day the dinosaurs died. A two-part PBS NOVA (preview w/audio interview, written preview) featuring Sir David Attenborough.

See also Riley Black's book The Last Days of the Dinosaurs (excerpt, interview), about the aftermath.
posted by box (14 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

(And, on a personal note, this is my 200th MeFi post.)
posted by box at 2:15 PM on May 14, 2022 [22 favorites]

Oh, cool. I watched this a couple of days ago. Would recommend.
posted by zengargoyle at 3:20 PM on May 14, 2022 [3 favorites]

Also previously?
posted by zamboni at 3:28 PM on May 14, 2022 [3 favorites]

Vertebrate Palaeontology Twitter was very excited about this. Of course, vertebrate palaeontologists are often excitable people. Quixotic perhaps. Maybe even mercurial.
Still, it was nice to see them so happy. It was cute.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 3:44 PM on May 14, 2022 [2 favorites]

"So bye-bye, We miss fossils that die.
Drove my Chevy to the levee
But the levee was dry
Them good ole science folk looking
how dinosaurs die.
Singing, "This seems to whiskey of a find...
This is the day that they died.""
posted by clavdivs at 4:36 PM on May 14, 2022

posted by rrrrrrrrrt at 6:19 PM on May 14, 2022

From what I read earlier it could imply direction of impact. Seemed to me, those spherules blowing right up the Great Basin and imbedding in prehistoric fish gills, carried by a wave of debris and water, pushed all the way from the Yucatan. But it might have been omnidirectional, and a gut punch sort of strike, hard enough to release lava on the other side of the world. I think this is the one event from the past I would have liked to watch, from a safe distance. It sure does seem that they have found victims from the day of impact.
posted by Oyéah at 6:42 PM on May 14, 2022 [3 favorites]

My next door neighbor makes art about dinosaurs, collaborates on books about dinosaurs, and does a paleology podcast. It's probably pointless for me to forward this to him, but I still will..

(The podcast, BTW, is pretty darn good. I won't link to it so as not to run afoul of local link etiquette, but feel free to MeMail me if you're interested and I'll tell you there.)
posted by Nerd of the North at 6:59 PM on May 14, 2022 [1 favorite]

Self-/friend-links in the comments have historically been fine (with intro like you gave, that notes the personal connection). It’s just prohibited for main front page posts.
posted by eviemath at 7:41 PM on May 14, 2022

I first read about all this in the fascinating New Yorker article from a few years ago (also linked within the post referenced above). DePalma was not portrayed in a completely flattering way, but it looks like the broader finds have started to prove out and the story he presents is slowly gaining more evidence. Statistically, this kind of find seems close to impossible as one might imagine, as exciting as it sounds. I love the story, but defer to the experts, and I think it will take many decades before a broader picture of the dig site is clear. As one talking head in the show can't help but say, "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." I am in mind of the whole timeline from the so-called Alvarez (and Jan Smit) hypothesis, which took years to solidify, from initial broad hypothesis, to location of the asteroid impact site, to slowly setting aside the competing 'massive volcanism' claim for the extinction event. The hypothesis was a good one, but it took 20 years for the scientific community to test and rule out other theories or questions. Go science!
posted by buffalo at 7:59 PM on May 14, 2022 [2 favorites]

Self-/friend-links in the comments have historically been fine (with intro like you gave, that notes the personal connection). It’s just prohibited for main front page posts.
Well, in that case: the podcast is Paleo Nerds and I think some here might enjoy it.

I'm behind on my episodes and from a cursory scan of their latest it looks like they're already discussing related material.
posted by Nerd of the North at 10:36 PM on May 14, 2022 [1 favorite]

I watched this NOVA with my 7 year old kid, and he was transfixed. He’s not even a huge dinosaur nut. As always, super high quality and insightful. Kind souls upload NOVA to the “usual places” if you’re not near a PBS station that airs it.
posted by Geckwoistmeinauto at 3:47 AM on May 16, 2022

A question about the ejecta spherules: why do they reach the ground intact, rather than burning up in the atmosphere like other small objects falling from space? (I have three or four ideas, but each is interesting enough to turn into a research rabbit hole, and it’d be more efficient if someone else told me.
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 3:18 PM on May 17, 2022

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