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Science Friday: Oh Noes! Creationist petroglyph debunked | Billion bug highway in the sky | Gulf blowout deadlier than thought

Debunking the “Dinosaurs” of Kachina Bridge

    About 65.5 million years ago, the last of the non-avian dinosaurs were wiped out in the fallout from one of the earth’s most catastrophic extinction events. They left only bones and traces in the rock behind. Yet there are people who claim that humans actually lived alongside dinosaurs. Young earth creationists have a habit of twisting natural history to fit within the narrow confines of their interpretation of Genesis, and they insist that humans once co-existed with sauropods, tyrannosaurs, ceratopsians and other dinosaurs within the last 6,000 years or so.


    ... A paper just published by paleontologists Phil Senter and Sally Cole demolishes this argument.


Look Up! The Billion-Bug Highway You Can't See from NPR on Vimeo.

Whale and Dolphin Death Toll During Deepwater Disaster May Have Been Greatly Underestimated

    ScienceDaily (Apr. 1, 2011) — The Deepwater Horizon oil spill of 2010 devastated the Gulf of Mexico ecologically and economically. However, a new study published in Conservation Letters reveals that the true impact of the disaster on wildlife may be gravely underestimated. The study argues that fatality figures based on the number of recovered animal carcasses will not give a true death toll, which may be 50 times higher than believed.

    "The Deepwater oil spill was the largest in US history, however, the recorded impact on wildlife was relatively low, leading to suggestions that the environmental damage of the disaster was actually modest," said lead author Dr Rob Williams from the University of British Columbia."This is because reports have implied that the number of carcasses recovered, 101, equals the number of animals killed by the spill."

    The team focused their research on 14 species of cetacean, an order of mammals including whales and dolphins. While the number of recovered carcasses has been assumed to equal the number of deaths, the team argues that marine conditions and the fact that many deaths will have occurred far from shore mean recovered carcasses will only account for a small proportion of deaths.