What about the Dinosaurs? Dinosaurs for Dummies

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Part of the Here Lies the Truth Project Fire Breathing Dinosaurs

Fire Breathing

As a few of the above accounts tell how some of these creatures, including Leviathan, breathed fire, it is necessary to make some comments as to its feasibility. All that is needed is some highly combustible material, a means of igniting it, and a means of expelling it.

To the evolutionist the small problem of igniting a fire should be one of the easier to solve. The raw material is present in virtually every dinosaur of moderate size. Large animals which consume huge amounts of food, especially herbivores and omnivores create highly combustible gases. This they routinely expel into the atmosphere, some of it being breathed out as a burp, or as Leviathan, snorted out through the mouth or nostrils, or possibly as Apollonius suggests, from beneath the crest. All that is required to ignite this gas is a spark.

According to evolutionary theory ‘Mother Nature’ has produced innumerable exquisite mechanisms to suit almost any and every need. At the Nano-technology level, protein machines: ATP synthase is a motor without which life could not have generated or evolved. At the macro level look at any of the major functions of the human body: locomotion, sight, speech, the immune system, the brain and the heart etc. All of these and thousands of other solutions to mechanical problems are attributed to the evolutionary process.

With regard to dinosaurs I think most scientists recognise that media programmes depicting dinosaur behaviour, colouration, appearance and habits are highly speculative. Only so much can be deduced from the actual evidence available. Some basic questions have not yet been conclusively answered; for instance which dinosaurs were warm-blooded and which cold-blooded. There are also many theories concerning the respiratory systems used by these creatures. If the producers of these programmes read some of the historians of antiquity they may get closer to the truth. They will not do so of course because this would be an admission that could never be uttered, written or broadcast: a confession that dinosaurs and humankind co-existed in the recent past.

Imagine if you will a dinosaur, probably an herbivore or omnivore that exhales methane gas through an adaption embedded within a crest. This crest provides tubes or passage-ways for the release of air into the atmosphere. A mechanism that created a spark, when combined with methane could produce a flame thrower effect, providing both a defence system and a spectacular mating display.

The hadrosaurs are certainly one group of dinosaurs that has this crest with the passage ways in situ. So is this speculation really an outrageous fantasy?

It is important to realise that far more animal types have passed into extinction than those we see and know today. Dinosaurs are just one of those groups that have passed away. As a consequence exactly how they operated and functioned is largely unknown. A fire breathing dragon is in essence no more amazing than some of the creatures we know to exist in our age. What might have existed in a previous age will almost certainly be quite as astonishing as anything we see today. Fire-breathing may be just one of thousands of mechanisms lost to nature’s storehouse of miracles during the course of extinctions.

Apollonius speaks in a straight-forward manner. He just relates what he has seen. If you read his works you will find him scoffing at myths and much else besides. He is an intelligent and pragmatic witness to the age in which he lived. And in that age he observed creatures unlike anything you and I have seen other than in books, and hadrosaurs are good examples. They had crests on their skulls which have unexplained nasal passages that seem unrelated to the sense of smell.

‘Scientists were struck by this dinosaur's amazing crest, believing it exemplifies a radical evolutionary departure in the geometry of dinosaur heads. The nose bone moved to the top of the head, extending the nasal passage up the face and emerging above the eyes. It is the arrangement of the naris and nasal passages that has caused scientists to speculate that this dinosaur could trumpet! The specimen is a eight metre long juvenile, so perhaps the skull crest was even more spectacular in fully grown adults, which paleontologists have estimated could reach lengths of 11 metres or more.’

Amazingly Apollonius, who according to evolutionary theory could have known nothing about these creatures, is quoted as saying the following:

‘…and from their crests, which are all fiery red there flashes a fire brighter than a torch.’

Dinosaurs with crests.

‘The most striking aspect of the new dinosaur is its large, complex, and fragile cranial crest that runs from its nose to the back of its head - which also gives its name. Guanlong is the only species of tyrannosaur known to have such a crest. Scientists can only speculate on the function of the exaggerated ornament. "It seems paradoxical that this predatory (group of animals) possessed a seemingly delicate, highly pneumatised cranial crest," Xing's team writes in its report on the findings, published today in Nature.

The most probable idea is that it may have served to attract mates. Below is a crested

carnivore, the twenty foot long Dilophosaurus.

This terrifying creature is known to have inhabited India, the very place where Apollonius observed fire-breathing dinosaurs. The question is, can it be possible that these creatures used those nasal passages for the purposes of fire-breathing, as well as those already suggested? I believe the answer is yes.

Here is just one plausible solution to the problem. I searched the Internet for means of igniting methane and found the following. It relates to an examination of how and why fires or explosions begin during the collapse of mine roofs, tunnels and shafts.

'When a large area of open gob collapses suddenly, a windblast is produced that can cause considerable damage throughout the infrastructure of a mine. In a few cases, the windblast has been accompanied by ignitions of methane and/or coal dust. Analytical and numerical analyses investigated the transient behavior of the air through the small time period during which the roof is falling. This is sufficiently short to allow adiabatic compression of the air, i.e. negligible heat transfer to rock surfaces. Controlled escape of the air via interconnecting entries limits the build- up of air pressure. However, this same phenomenon causes the potential energy of the falling strata to be concentrated into a diminishing mass of air. Computer simulations predicted that the temperature of the air would increase rapidly as the roof descends, reaching values that are capable of igniting either methane or coal dust.

This thesis concentrates on a series of laboratory tests involving the compression of

mixtures of air, methane and coal dust under a falling weight and while allowing controlled escape of the mixture.'

The Ignition of Methane and Coal Dust by Air Compression - The Experimental Proof

By Wei Lin / Master's Thesis submitted to the Faculty of the Virginia Tech....

If this process of igniting methane can occur under accidental conditions whereby air is compressed and forced through escape channels, then why could not the same occur in a designed system. The effect: something akin to a controlled sneeze in a creature as large as a dinosaur could surely cause the same kind of ignition effect as that described above. Assuming scientists are correct in thinking that these cranial crests were used for trumpeting, then large volumes of air must have been forced through these channels at great speed? This would create a similar effect to the one described above, and possibly an even more efficient way of igniting methane gas. In other words a design feature, similar to all those found in so many diverse creatures: the electric eel and bombardier beetle, to name but two. If this were so then the proliferation of stories relating to fire-breathing would be no more strange than other accounts from travellers, that upon first hearing seemed unlikely in the extreme, but which were later proved to be accurate.

Source: Sascha Kozacenko, with kind permission for GFDL. Author Sascha Kozacenko