A Pliocene supernova extinction?

The non amateur stuff. Hawking, black holes, that sort of thing

Moderators: joe, Brian, Guy Fennimore

Post Reply
brian livesey
Posts: 5448
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2006 11:05 am
Location: Lancashire

A Pliocene supernova extinction?

Post by brian livesey »

Cosmic rays can be lethal to living organisms. A new theory to explain the disappearance of megafauna towards the end of the Pliocene has been proposed that may implicate a cosmic ray storm.
The megafauna at that time included the giant ground sloth and the huge, saw-toothed, megalodon shark.
A team of researchers led by Adrian Mellot at the University of Kansas has proposed that the enigmatic disappearance of megafauna could be explained by a supernova event, bathing the Earth with muons, causing large marine animals to develop cancers.
"There hasn't really been any good explanation for the marine megafaunal extinction," said Dr. Mellot. "This could be one." A hint to bolster the theory is the detection of the radioactive isotope Iron-60 in the seabed. The isotope is still radioactive, which would not be the case if it had been produced when the Earth was formed, as it would have decayed.
Post Reply