It is one of the most profound mysteries of our time. Some of the largest, most breath-taking creatures to have ever walked the planet ... for some reason, are no more. The scientific explanations continue to multiply, as do countless conjectures, but as long as evolutionary dogma continues to dominate the world of the dinosaurs, as it does so many other fields of science, hope of solving the "The Great Dinosaur Mystery," we believe, will remain just that ... a hope.
Such a statement may disturb some of our readers, particularly those who believe in an old earth. Surely, scientists are on the brink of knowing how and why and when the dinosaurs went extinct. Some of our readers, in fact, may think that we already do know. As can be seen, however, the theories still remain various.
· A giant meteor, or meteor showers, caused their extinction.
· A nearby supernova bombarded the earth with intense radiation, resulting in fatal mutations.
· Too many offspring were born of one gender.
· The climate of the earth became too cold, warm, dry or wet.
· The earth's oxygen levels dropped, suffocating the dinosaurs.
· A rat-like rodent evolved that consumed dinosaur eggs.
· Dinosaurs were weakened by slipped vertebral discs.
· Weakening eggshells slowly developed.
· Viral infections proliferated the planet.
Granted, some theories are more widely held by scientists, but the very existence of alternative explanations reveal the continuing lack of consensus. These theories, and many more, have been put forth and critiqued time and again, and yet, in some way or another, been found wanting. To this day, the evolutionary community still does not know exactly why the dinosaurs went extinct.
Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico
Because the 124 mile (200km) diameter crater, known as Chicxulub (located on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, and named after a nearby town), is the most popular and widely-excepted "smoking gun" that killed the dinosaurs, it is only necessary that we take the time to examine it.
An asteroid or comet is believed to have formed the crater some 65 million years ago, exactly when the dinosaurs are said to have gone extinct. The impact caused catastrophic destruction of the environment, with wide-spread firestorms, tidal waves, and the severe downpour of acid rain. Soot and smoke from the impact also filled the atmosphere, blocking out the sun, and thus killing many light-sensitive plants along with vast numbers of sea plankton. Herbivorous dinosaurs were left with little to eat, resulting in the collapse of food chains worldwide.
One of the strongest supports that Chicxulub was the instigator of this widespread disaster is, as mentioned before, its time in history. According to one popular Encyclopedia: "Using similar (radiometric dating) techniques to date the dramatic changes in the record of microscopic fossils, they (scientists) have found that the impact and the dinosaur extinction occurred nearly simultaneously." 
Indeed, such a coincidence would be hard to explain away. That is, unless other evidence has shown that the crater was actually not formed during the same time, and even that some of the most sensitive animals were able to survive the "impact."
Her name is Gerta Keller, and her work has pinned Chicxulub with the label of "Innocent Asteroid."
What evidence has Keller provided to warrant such a label? In short, several lines of geological evidence from Chicxulub that make the case for the crater having been formed about 300,000 years before the mass, 65-million-year-old extinction. Perhaps the age difference may not seem as too big of a deal, but according to Spencer Lucas, curator of paleontology and geology at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, "(The smoking gun) can't be even a 100 years older than the K-T boundary. There is room for inquiry here."
According to Keller, layers from the Yaxcopoil 1 borehole are stacked like newspapers and are older as you go down, telling of the Chicxulub impact with the broken "breccia" rocks. On top of the breccia is roughly two feet of gently-laid-down, thinly layered seafloor mud "built up over 300,000 years." Those two feet of post-impact mud have the fossils, carbon isotopes and magnetic signal of the late Cretaceous. What's the problem? That's long before the mass die-off of the dinosaurs. It's two feet higher, or 300,000 years later, until a sharp change in carbon isotopes and changes in microfossils show the massive K-T extinction event.
What's interesting to note is that Keller and her colleagues' purpose in drilling from Yaxcopoil 1 (a significant borehole) was to provide final, irrefutable evidence that Chicxulub was fully responsible. Instead, they found that it wasn't.
German scientist Wolfgang Stinnesbeck, from the Geological Institute of the University of Karlsruhe, has been studying the asteroid theory for years. In 2003, he made a startling discovery.
It was a 55-centimeter thick limestone layer containing evidence of plankton and other life forms that, according to the report, lived for 300,000 years after the infamous asteroid was said to have killed the dinosaurs. Said Stinnesbeck, "This is the proof that life continued after the impact and that, therefore, it could not have killed off the dinosaurs. It might have contributed in the long run to their demise, but was not directly responsible."
It is Stinnesbeck's personal belief that volcanic eruptions altered global temperatures, killing the dinosaurs because they couldn't adapt to the change.
Such evidence poses serious questions regarding the very nature of Chicxulub itself. Is it in fact an impact crater at all? If so, how disastrous was it? Could Chicxulub shed new light on the nature of other craters found around the world as well?
Combining Theories, Changing The Timescale
When we consider the varying theories surrounding the extinction of the dinosaurs, and then compare them to discoveries in not only paleontology, but written history itself, a picture begins to be revealed, piece by piece. It is a picture that, though ignored by the scientific community at large, seems all too clear, and even all too simple. Perhaps a few of the many extinction theories actually do have legitimacy to them, but because of pervading evolutionary, long-age thought, the picture which should be so clear has instead become tragically obscured.
With this in mind, let us examine the evidence.
The Art Of Interpretation
"Paleontology is much like politics: passions run high, and it's easy to draw very different conclusions from the same set of facts."
M.D. Lemonick, "Parenthood, Dino-style," Time, January 8, 1996, p. 48.
This quote is very telling. Fossils don't interpret themselves. Rather, they are interpreted. Like evidence left at a crime scene, a definitive answer of what actually took place cannot always be given. The prosecution can use the same set of evidence to further their case, while the defense can use the same set of evidence to further theirs. To the jury, whichever case seems most probable, with fewer discrepancies, is the case they're going to believe.
And when it comes to fossils, namely the fossil record, the situation is not far different. There is the young-earth creationist interpretation, and there is the old-earth evolutionist interpretation. In this case, you, the reader, are the jury. It is for you to decide which interpretation best appears to match the facts.
Fossils: A Closer Look
Fossils. We find millions of them all around the world. From the highest mountains to the lowest valleys, fossils have been left as remnants of a past age, an age when things were vastly different. There are two important questions that we must ask ourselves. When was this "past age," and exactly how different was it really?
Let us, for a moment, deal with the second question.
Giants. Countless fossils giants have been found and continue to be found on virtually every continent the world over. What is most interesting to note, however, is that many of these giants are close relatives of animals alive today, only bigger. It is one thing to find large dinosaurs, or other large extinct creatures, but to find animals similar to those of today, yet on a larger scale, is nothing short of intriguing.
Consider the Giant Beaver (Castoroides ohioensis), whose fossils range from Florida to Northern Canada. At some eight feet in length and nearly 450 pounds, it wasn't quite unlike its modern day cousin, being well within the speciation level.
Megaceros was an animal that stood over 10 feet (3m) tall and had enormous antlers about 11 feet (3.3m) across. As you guessed from the mention of antlers, this giant was a deer, and one most closely related to the modern day fallow deer. Their fossils have been found in Europe and western Asia.
Believed to be the largest land mammal to have ever lived, the Baluchitherium was a giant rhinoceros, standing at about 18 feet (5.5m) high at the shoulder. Although it was hornless and possessed a longer neck, other features clearly indicate that it was a rhinoceros. Their remains have been found throughout Asia.
For those interested in the study of cryptozoology, Megalania comes as a familiar name. Reaching to a length of about 20 feet (6m), it is the largest-known terrestrial lizard to have ever lived, weighing some 1,300 pounds (600kg). It was a relative of the komodo dragon.
When speaking of giants, the infamous Megalodon (Carcharodon carcharocles) should not be overlooked. It was not a land animal, but a shark, and is believed to have grown to about 60 feet (17m) or more in length. Because sharks do not have bone, but cartilage, Megalodon is primarily known only from fossil teeth. Although debated, it is believed to be most closely related to the Great White.
In August of 2002, The Guardian reported an amazing fossil discovery in Australia of a giant goose which stood as tall as an elephant. "You would instinctively have stayed miles away from them ... Some of the bigger ones could easily have sheared your hand off with a bite," said Peter Murray of the Museum of Central Australia in Alice Springs.
Again unearthed in Australia in 2002 were a plethora of enormous fossils, including giant lions, 10 foot tall kangaroos and "a wombat the size of a Mini." Scientists described the discovery as "the find of the century."
Giants weren't exclusive to the animal kingdom. The largest known insect to have ever lived, in fact, was the Meganeura (Meganeura monyi), or giant dragonfly. It had a wingspan of roughly 2 feet (70cm), the size of a modern day hawk.
Over 8 feet in length (2.6m), the fossil of an enormous centipede was discovered by paleontologists in Thueringen, Germany, in 1999. It was immediately claimed to be the largest land-living insect ever to be found.
Fossil trackways of Giant Millipedes, called Arthropleura, have been found in areas of eastern North America, indicating specimens that reached up to 5 feet in length.
Giant Water Scorpion
It grew to a length of nearly 9 feet (3m), but is believed to have been a "gentle giant," feeding on plankton and plant material. Still, the Giant Water Scorpion (cyrtoctenus wittebergensis) was a monster of an insect, and unlike its modern-day progeny, it didn't have a poison sting. Although normal scorpions are arachnids (invertebrates with 8 legs), water scorpions are true insects, being called "scorpions" because of their vague resemblance.
Also known as the "scale tree" because of the distinctive diamond-shaped leaf scars that covered its outer bark midsection, the Lepidodendron reached gigantic sizes, growing to heights of over 130 feet with supporting trunks measuring up to 6 feet or more in diameter. Its modern descendants are tiny in comparison.
In Illinois, USA, the fossil remains of huge ferns with fronds five to six feet long have been found. The plants grew to a height of more than 50 feet, and were discovered well preserved in large coal beds.
Giant Horse Tails
They are said by evolutionists to have "changed very little over the last 300 million years," except for one aspect. Their size. The ancestors of modern day horse tails were nothing less than enormous, growing to heights of over 30 feet.
Why, When, & How?
Why did these animals, insects and plants of the past grow to such large sizes? When did they live, and how were they able to survive in their environment? The answers to these questions may in turn answer the ultimate question we are searching for in this article.