Mother Nature's henchman: food

    "a lingering impact winter that made it impossible for plants and plankton to carry out
    photosynthesis”

    "Photosynthesizing organisms, including phytoplankton and land plants, formed the
    foundation of the food chain in the late Cretaceous as they do today. Evidence
    suggests that herbivorous animals died out when the plants they depended on for
    food became scarce. Consequently, top predators such as Tyrannosaurus rex also
    perished.”

    "organisms whose food chain included these shell builders, became extinct… it is
    thought that ammonites were the principal food of mosasaurs, a group of giant marine
    reptiles that became extinct at the boundary”

    "Extinction was more severe among animals living in the water column than among
    animals living on or in the sea floor. Animals in the water column are almost entirely
    dependent on primary production from living phytoplankton while animals living on or
    in the ocean floor feed on detritus or can switch to detritus feeding"

    Indeed, food is invoked as the direct cause in all other grand mass extinctions as well:

    "The entire base of the food chain is wiped out"

    b. Devonian, so much so that the T-Rex of the seas -- Dunkelosteos -- can't find food and
     has no choice but to resort to cannibalism...

    "Plankton, the microscopic surface dwellers that form the base of the marine food
    chain, are decimated."

    c. Permian, especially, the food sources of our alleged ancestor Dicynodon dry up. In fact,
     Benton explains how the ecological pyramid overturns and then wonders how extinction
     happens...

    "The once majestic forests of conifers, the ancestors of today's evergreens, are
    dying by the millions. Plant life withers in the stifling heat. With vegetation, the
    foundation of the food chain, starvation now runs rampant... Dicynodon's food
    sources are literally drying up."

    d. Triassic, specifically the plankton that form the basis of the food chain...

    "Microscopic plankton, the base of the marine food chain, dies in the heart of
    acidic water. As a result, fish populations around the world are decimated.
    And as the fish go, all the creatures that rely on them for sustenance go too."
    "The fossil record reveals that as plants foods grew more scarce, mass extinctions
    began. Survival depended on traveling long distances to find something to eat."

    Therefore, food obviously played a significant if not THE crucial role in all the major mass extinctions, not
    only in the most famous Cretaceous extinction. In fact, the most popular explanation for the KT Extinction
    is Alvarez's asteroid theory. In their article, the authors are not proposing that the asteroid itself killed the
    dinosaurs. The theory states that the dinosaurs died of starvation AFTER the asteroid struck. The DIRECT
    cause was lack of food...

    "In brief, our hypothesis suggests that an asteroid struck the earth, formed an
    impact crater, and some of the dust-sized material ejected from the crater reached
    the stratosphere and was spread around the globe. This dust effectively prevented
    sunlight from reaching the surface for a period of several years, until the dust
    settled to earth. Loss of sunlight suppressed photosynthesis, and as a result most
    FOOD chains collapsed and the extinctions resulted."

                               Extraterrestrial Cause for the Cretaceous-Tertiary Extinction
                               Luis Alvarez et al., Science, Vol. 208, No. 4448. (1980)

    The asteroid theory is an indirect starvation theory. The theory is not about an ET strike causing the damage,
    but about the fact that the base of the food chain disappears. The direct cause of the deaths of the dinosaurs
    is not impact, but hunger.

    You may wonder why I am bringing up this seemingly obvious and... 'trivial' mechanism...

    I'm bringing it up because starvation is the 600 lb gorilla in the room that nobody sees. Like the invisible
    man in the clip above, food is an invisible agent. Everybody talks about food and mentions it in his theory,
    but everyone glosses over it. There is practically no direct mention whatsoever of hunger and starvation
    anywhere in the popular or scientific literature! No one invokes starvation as a primary cause of extinction.
    Everyone is distracted by dazzling catastrophes and forgets that no catastrophe can exterminate a food
    chain... especially while leaving a neighboring food chain untouched.

    Here are the primary causes proposed for the five largest extinction events according to the Wikipedia.
    Not one mentions starvation or food chains:

    The Extinction article mentions food and food chains in passing, as an afterthought, in a one-liner in its brief,
    single-paragraph Coextinction section:

    "Coextinction can also occur… to predators in a food chain who lose their prey."

    Like with disease, this feeble attempt is mentioned in passing and, thus, goes largely undetected. It is
    included merely to assure readers that the base was covered. No one actually believes or proposes that
    hunger/starvation was the primary trigger itself. Not one of the five major mass extinctions invokes
    hunger/starvation as the primary cause.

    This argument is reinforced when we look at almost any extinction site on the Internet. For instance,
    Michael Benton has compiled an almost complete list of causes proposed for extinction throughout the
    years. He barely mentions starvation as an afterthought in his list of Biotic Causes:

    "Reduction in availability of plant food as a whole"

    This suggests that the paleontologists give lip service to food chains and starvation. They are all on a wild
    goose chases, paying no attention to food chains and seeking a trigger for the ecological collapse. It never
    occurred to a single paleo-mathemgician that the food chain WILL collapse no matter what and doesn't
    need a trigger.

    However, I have just shown that we can conceptualize the extinction of humans if food were somehow to
    disappear. Will anyone argue with me that if God removes all the food on the planet with magic, humans
    WILL definitely become extinct? Is there any doubt?

    Yet when asked what might cause Man to become extinct everyone mentions nuclear weapons, asteroid,
    disease, climate change, etc., but NO ONE ever mentions food and hunger!!! It never occurred to anyone
    to suggest that without food we die. Since everybody more or less has his tummy filled and can go to the
    store to get what he wants, nobody thinks about the possibility of starving to death. It just doesn't cross
    anyone's mind.

    I have also shown that practically everybody invokes the food chain demise as the direct cause of any
    of the major mass extinctions. And I have further shown that the same authors of the asteroid theory
    refer to the inversion of the ecological pyramid as the ultimate cause of the demise of the dinosaurs.

    Consequently, you would think that starvation would figure a little more prominently in the list of agents,
    especially in popular sources such as the Wikipedia. The mechanism of mass extinctions has been staring
    at the so-called 'experts' in their faces for decades and they never saw it. The experts keep searching for
    mysterious, hidden catastrophic causes and wondering what could possibly have killed all these animals in
    the past.

    Here we will state it as it is. The direct cause of a mass extinction is not a catastrophic event such as an
    asteroid impact or a volcanic eruption. The DIRECT cause of a mass extinction is starvation. It can be in
    no other way because by definition a mass extinction is...

    mass extinction: the disappearance of a FOOD chain


    The last species in a long line of herbivore dynasties end up starving to death because whatever they had
    eaten until then has disappeared. The carnivore can't find any herbivore because a herbivore can't find the
    plants it ate. The entire food chain collapses. This is known as a mass extinction. A mass extinction is the
    result of -- AND ONLY THE RESULT OF -- the overturning of the ecological pyramid. It is NEVER a result
    of extraterrestrial impacts or novas, disease, climate change, volcanoes, earthquakes or other sudden
    catastrophes! We should remove these agents and mechanisms from the list of extinction causes once
    and for all and stop disorienting people.

    Therefore, the first order of the day should be for every website and encyclopedia to include starvation and
    food chains at the top of their extinction lists. One that does not, should be dismissed as an amateur site,
    one belonging to a mathemagical paleontologist.

    The next thing we need to settle is whether we need a catastrophic event such as an earthquake, a volcanic
    eruption, an asteroid or a sudden change in climate or environmental conditions for starvation to take its toll.
    If we don't, those same sites should remove asteroids, earthquakes and volcanoes from their list of causes.
    Neither asteroids nor volcanoes ever caused the extinction of a single species on Planet Earth!
    What I'm getting at is that starvation is definitely one mechanism we can imagine that has the potential to eliminate
    our species. If food were to disappear tomorrow for whatever reasons, the entire population of humans on Earth
    would vanish in a matter of weeks. In fact, just by looking at every two sentences in the Wikipedia article on the
    K-T Extinction we see all kinds of references to food, food chains and starvation:

    Ordovician: movement of Gondwana into the south polar region… led to global cooling,
    glaciation and consequent sea level fall. The falling sea level disrupted or eliminated
    habitats along the continental shelves... Gamma ray burst from a nearby super or hypernova.

    Devonian: Leading theories include changes in sea level and ocean anoxia, possibly
    triggered by global cooling or oceanic volcanism. The impact of a comet or another
    extraterrestrial body has also been suggested.

    Permian: gradual environmental change… catastrophic event… large bolide impact
    events, massive volcanism, coal/gas fires and explosions from the Siberian Traps…
    climate change.

    Triassic: Gradual climate change, sea-level fluctuations or a pulse of oceanic acidification,
    Asteroid impact, Massive volcanic eruptions

    Cretaceous: asteroid impact, volcanic eruptions, climate change, and/or sea level change.
    Let us assume that God comes to Earth, waves
    His Magic Wand, and converts the surface of the
    Earth into sand, dust, rocks, and desert. What if
    the surface of the Earth suddenly looked like the
    surface of the Moon? How long would it take for
    7 billion humans to die? A few weeks? A few
    months?

    It is likely that we would first eat whatever food
    we have stored in our fridges and cupboards,
    then perhaps take whatever we find in super-
    markets, and finally begin to ponder the possibi-
    lity of killing and eating our neighbors. Perhaps
    not all of us, but certainly a lot of desperate
    people wishing to survive at all costs. Killing and
    cannibalism would only accelerate the demise
    of our species.
The invisible agent that nobody sees
The Black Horse of the Apocalypse
.
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Ye Olde You Stupid Relativist


    We don't need a catastrophe to justify the extinction of plants

    Let's try a thought experiment. Let's assume that you are standing at the start of the Cambrian 600 million
    years ago which is around the time when life is alleged to have radiated -- the exact time is not important.
    Is it possible to predict what will happen to plants in the next 500 million years?

    Well, in retrospect, even the paleo-mathemagicians can't deny what actually happened and what they've
    discovered in the rock layers. Archaic plants were replaced by ever more sophisticated plants throughout
    the history of life on Earth. The story of evolution is the chronological evolution of plants. The Big Picture is
    that the first plants -- non-vascular bryophytes (mosses, liverworts and hornworts) -- climbed onto land
    perhaps some 470 mya. They ruled the land for millions of years until the more advanced vascular
    lycopods (club mosses) and horsetails began to evolve (Late Silurian/Early Devonian - 420 mya) and
    eventually overthrew the ancient regime. The lycopods dotted the landscape until they were displaced by
    the more advanced spore and seed ferns (Permian/ Triassic - 300 - 200 mya). The ferns were muscled
    aside by the more developed conifers (ginkgoes, cycads, araucaria, etc. - 200 -65 mya) which finally lost
    the global war against the flowering seed and fruit plants that dominate the landscape today.

    Why is this relevant?

    This Big Picture suggests the obvious: that when the ancient arachnids (mites, spiders, scorpions, etc.)
    climbed onto land they had no choice but to depend on bryophytes because there were no other plants
    available. The state-of-the-art theory is that the early terrestrial animals were not herbivores, but rather
    decomposers. They relied on detritus: dead and rotting plants. However, we must factor that contemporary
    mites dwell among and feed directly on modern bryophytes. Whatever the case, whether herbivory evolved
    later in these tiny animals, what cannot be denied is that Mother Nature had not yet invented the club mosses,
    ferns, conifers and angiosperms. There was nothing else to eat!

    Millions of years later, when these archaic plants finally disappeared, the animals at the bottom of the food
    chain -- the mites and other arachnids -- died with them. They couldn't change their eating habits at the last
    moment because the bacteria in their stomachs that helped them convert plant tissue into food had
    specialized in specific plants. The bacteria could not be replaced overnight any more than the bacteria that
    help cows digest grass can be asked to digest pine leaves, cones and needles overnight...

    "Wallwork (1958) reported that adult Achipteria coleoptrata... ate living young
    stem tissue of mosses and survived on that diet for more than a month. It
    appears that bacteria in the gut are necessary to digest at least some cell types
    in tracheophytes, particularly those with lots of lignin (Haq & Konikkara 1989).
    It would be interesting to see if a gut flora is equally important in digesting
    non-lignified bryophytes."

    "Globally, plants experienced their greatest losses during the Permian extinction.
    Only 9 out of 22 known families survived into the Triassic (Cleal & Thomas, 2009,
    p. 209). As noted earlier, the swamp forests of the Carboniferous contracted during
    the Permian. As the clubmosses waned, ferns and primitive conifers expanded to
    take their place. The change from Paleophytic to Mesophytic flora occurred over a
    period of 25 million years. Tropical plant ecosystems suffered major disruptions
    with some extinction at the end of the Permian period. Cordaites went extinct as
    well as the seed fern Glossopteris."

    Likewise, the Dicroidiums (seed ferns) on which the aetosaurs of the Late Triassic ultimately depended
    would eventually disappear together with them. Again, it had nothing to do with climate change subsequent
    to a catastrophic agent. It had solely to do with the inversion of the population pyramid of plants.

    Likewise, it was predictable that the Ginkgos, Bennettitales and Cycads on which the dinosaurs of the
    Jurassic and Cretaceous ultimately depended WOULD invariably vanish one day.

     Mass Extinction Causes and Mechanisms
    Proposed by the Paleo-Math Establishment




    A Rational Mechanism for Mass Extinction



    The History of Life on Earth

Over millions of years, terrestrial plants evolved from the simple to the more sophisticated. Archaic
plants were periodically replaced by more advanced plants. In each major geologic period certain
types of herbivores carved niches in the reigning vegetation. It was predictable that when the ancient
plants that had been around for awhile, lost their genetic diversity and retreated as a percentage of
total plant population and number of species, the animals that depended on these sources of food
would disappear with them..

The Cretaceous Terrestrial Revolution
shows that flowering plants displaced
all other orders and families in the last
50 million years of the reign of dinosaurs
specifically, what disapepared were the
extensive forests and jungles of Cycads,
Ginkgos and Bennettitales that had
dominated the
Age of Cycads.

    Animals carved niches in the vegetation of their age and evolved with the plants. The Carboniferous amphibians
    developed with the club mosses. The Permian pareiasaurs and dicynodons evolved with the seed ferns as did
    the aetosaurs of the Triassic. The dinosaurs developed with the Ginkgos, Bennetitales and Cycads. And the
    mammals evolved with the angiosperms. None of these major groups of animals couldn switch their diets
    overnight when the plants they ate disappeared. And it was predictable that the major plant groups WOULD
    necessarily disappear WHEN their genetic diversity disappeared and their population pyramids overturned.

    The dominant animals grew ever larger consistent with Cope's Law and became ever more specialized in their
    diets over the centuries. Therefore, it seems natural to assume that when the plants disappeared, the animals
    that depended on them disappeared as well.

    Does it make sense to assume the contrary, that it the lucky eruption of a volcano that induced the ferns to
    disappear and allow the conifers to flourish? Do we need an extraterrestrial impact to justify how angiosperm
    gradually replaced gymnosperm on the landscape in the last 50 million years of the Cretaceous?

    Hence, if we were standing at the starting line of the Cambrian, we can predict that ancient, less developed
    plants are GOING to disappear NO MATTER WHAT and are going to be replaced by more advanced plants.
    That's the history of life on Earth! Yet...

    NOT A SINGLE THEORY IN EXISTENCE TODAY MAKES A PROVISION FOR PLANTS
    DISAPPEARING ALL ON THEIR OWN WITHOUT THE NEED FOR A TRIGGER!!!

    The challenge is for the skeptic to find such a theory anywhere on the Internet.