paleoenvironment

“The extinction of old forms is the almost enevitable consequence of the production of new forms…But the utter extinction of a whole group of species may often be a very slow process, from the survival of a few descendants, lingering in protected and isolated situation. When a group has once wholly dissapeared, it does not reappear; for the link of generation has broken.”

- Charles Darwin, Origin of Species, (1859)

Henry de la Beche’s watercolor Duria Antiquior (1830). This is the earliest known attempt to draw a paleoenvironment (from the Jurassic Seas of the Dorset coast).

I like this quote because although it points to plausable theories concerning mass extinction and generation, it is still illusive and vague. Darwin fails to accept catastrophic events as causing mass extinctions, as well as the shifting of continental plates; or even formation of new ones. He holds the notion that continents simpily sunk and re-emerged over long periods of time, leading to marine fossils inland, and land fossils being dredged from the seas floor.

That is the joy to be found with reading new theories and hypothesis’; they are educated speculations based on logic and accumilation of fact. But, sometimes they miss a fundemental piece of evidence or fail to acept the plauseability of something else. Its virgin territory to be embarked upon, and kudos for getting deeply involved!orig