And then I'm going to talk about something else, something I've been thinking about posting for awhile.
But first the dinosaur extinction. I've just read a science article about what happened after the asteroid that led to the end of the dinosaurs, and the ensuing period of "... Earthquakes. Wildfires. Volcanoes. Acid rain. Dust and gunk in the air, blotting out the sun..." which led to long-term twilight and widespread loss of vegetation.
The article tells how the demise of dinosaurs allowed other life forms to survive and eventually thrive. You may have heard that there was a link between the extinction of dinosaurs and the rise of mammals, including man. But it wasn't a straight line, and it wasn't fast.
From studying fossils and rocks, scientists can deduce quite a bit about the kind of animals that were able to survive in the smoking ruins of earth. The qualities the survivors had in common are any of these: A small body. An aquatic lifestyle. Night vision. An unfussy palate.
The small body required less food and shelter (small is defined as less than 10 kilograms for land animals). The aquatic environment would have been less affected than the land, as it was buffered from heat. Night vision would have allowed easier mobility and food-finding. And an unfussy palate allowed critters to make use of whatever food they did find.
So, being a non-dinosaur, assuming I was still in one piece after the asteroid had come and gone, would I have survived for more than, say, a few days?
I am certainly bigger than 10 kilograms. I don't like the water because it causes me to breathe badly. My day vision is not that good, let alone my night vision. And being sensitive to flavours means I would never be described as having an unfussy palate.
I'd be a goner, for sure.
Ah well, maybe I'd be food for some of the other survivors ... and I guess that means I'd be around in one form or another a bit longer. Or forever.
After all, as the song goes, we are stardust ... (click here to listen to "Woodstock")
And with all that's been going on in the world lately, maybe it's time to remember that one day we will all return to being stardust. Our sun will eventually flame out. Our planet will be destroyed. We came from stardust, and we will return to it.
Some people might feel that's a pessimistic and helpless outlook, or that it means I am ignoring all the world's problems and living in a bubble
Not so. It simply helps me keep life in perspective: Life is to be lived. Nature is to be enjoyed. We should try to be good and kind people. We should make the most of our precious lives, in this precious, precarious world. We should help others improve their circumstances if we can at all. We must be thankful for whatever good circumstances we find ourselves in, but not continually beat ourselves up if those circumstances are better than someone else's. We should try to right wrongs, on both a small and a large scale. We should try to leave the world better than we found it. But we should not obsess over it to the point that we fail to see the gift of life that we have.
We must do what we can. But we must also live as fully as we can.
That's the way I see it, anyway.
Thanks, Pixabay.You have a picture for everything.
1. Did you know that "Woodstock" was written by Canadian Joni Mitchell? She never actually went to Woodstock because her manager thought it would be better to do a TV talk show, but afterward she thought "the deprivation of not being able to go" gave her a unique perspective on the event, and others have agreed.
2. Fellow blogger Steve (from Shadows and Light), who comments here, came up with much the same idea at the same time I did, except he won the posting race and published his thoughts last week! Steve, I swear I didn't steal your idea :)
Here is the quote I left on his post, which so well captures the idea I'm trying to get across: