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Science Case Study - Dinosaurs

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

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Contents

INTRODUCTION        

What were dinosaurs?        

What does extinction mean?        

What are the main theories of how and what killed the dinosaurs?        

ASTEROID THEORY        

What is the background information of this theory?        

What are the facts that support this theory?        

What are the facts that challenge this theory?        

Mini Conclusion        

VOLCANIC THEORY        

What is the background information of this theory?        

What are the facts that support this theory?        

What are the facts that challenge this theory?        

Mini Conclusion        

CONCLUSION        

Make a conclusion        

Describe the facts that support this conclusion        

WHAT DOES THIS COURSEWORK SHOW ME?        

Explain what ideas about science I have gathered from carrying out this coursework        

BIBLIOGRAPHY

A list of websites and books that I used and what exactly they showed me        


INTRODUCTION

What were dinosaurs?

Dinosaurs were one of the most dominant animals ever to have lived on our Earth. They lived on the Earth for (a)over 165 million years; from the late Triassicperiod (about 230 million years ago) until the end of the Cretaceousperiod (65 million years ago).  Dinosaur is translated from the Greek deino and sauros meaning terrible and lizard which describes exactly what most dinosaurs looked like. However (a) Dinosaurs have varied in size, with some known to have grown to a massive 15 meters tall and others to be only the size of a chicken. Dinosaurs were very, very different from one another. For example some were big and some were small, some walked on two legs and some walked on four, and some were armor-plated, some had crests, horns or even spikes.

What does extinction mean?

Extinction is the complete disappearance of a species. Extinction usually occurs if a specie on Earth cannot adapt quickly enough to a serious change in the environment, which causes death.

...read more.

Middle

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The above diagram is the scientific speculation of the Alvarezes. Luis Alvarez said also that ‘the pollution in the atmosphere would settle on the ground all over the Earth, creating the layer of iridium that he and his son discovered in Italy.’

What are the facts that support this theory?image19.jpg

Luis Alvarez and Walter Alvarez found the layer of iridium, that they later based their Asteroid Impact Theory on, in Italy but layers like this have been found all over the world.

The reason why the layer was first noticed to be unusual was because of the vast quantities it was discovered in. Iridium is a very rare element and for it to be found in such large amounts there must have been a momentous and significant event in which this huge amount of iridium was unearthed. Alvarez then researched as to where this iridium could have come from. The main place where iridium is known to exist is in outer space, another place is in the core of the Earth. The only part of the Earths crust where measurable amounts of iridium can be found is in volcanic areas. The Alvarezes decided that the most likely theory from the evidence they had collected was that an Asteroid hit the Earth sending up the dust from the Earths surfaced where the asteroid had landed but also any debris from outer space that was on the asteroid, for example iridium. An asteroid between 4 and 9 miles long would have had enough impact on the Earth and carry enough iridium to explain the mass extinction and the layer of iridium in Italy.

Another fact that backs up the theory of Luis and Walter Alvarez is that special ‘shocked quartz’ that was found in the layer of iridium.

...read more.

Conclusion

(e)

Twenty First Century GCSE Core Science Higher Textbook (page 42)

Evidence against the Asteroid Impact Theory – page 6

(f)

The Twenty First Century Textbook is a very reliable source. It is produced by the well-known exam board ‘Twenty First Century Science’ and is recognized around the world. Something that possibly makes the information I received from this Textbook more suited for my Case Study is that it is aimed at people my age. Therefore any information I used would be at a scientific level that I should be able to understand.

Twenty First Century GCSE Core Science Higher Textbook (page 43)

Evidence against the Volcanic Eruption Theory – page 8

(g)

The Twenty First Century Textbook is a very reliable source. It is produced by the well-known exam board ‘Twenty First Century Science’ and is recognized around the world. Something that possibly makes the information I received from this Textbook more suited for my Case Study is that it is aimed at people my age. Therefore any information I used would be at a scientific level that I should be able to understand.

Walking With Dinosaurs – Tim Haines (page 280)

Asteroid Impact Theory Evidence

(h)

Tim Haines is an award winning scientific journalist who has worked with the BBC since 1988. This makes him and his work recognized globally as being up to date, very factual and reliable.  

Walking With Dinosaurs – Tim Haines (page 281)

Volcanic Eruption Theory Evidence

(i)

Tim Haines is an award winning scientific journalist who has worked with the BBC since 1988. This makes him and his work recognized globally as being up to date, very factual and reliable.

http://web.ukonline.co.uk/a.buckley/dino.htm

Asteroid Impact Theory

(j)

I expected this to be an unreliable source. It was not a link from a recognized organization but rather just a non-recognized enthusiast. However it is obvious from the vast quantity and detail in the report that the writer knows a lot about this field and has a lot of information to offer.

...read more.

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