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From Ice to Fire 14


From Ice to Fire 14
Photo Information
Copyright: Neels Gunter (corjan3) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 430 W: 49 N: 964] (4707)
Genre: Landscapes
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2011-08-29
Categories: Reptiles, Desert, River
Exposure: f/8, 1/400 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2013-10-28 13:05
Viewed: 1883
Points: 14
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
The 14th in this series under the title FROM ICE TO FIRE - A 200 MILLION YEAR JOURNEY BETWEEN TWO DESERTS. To follow the whole story, one would have to start with Image 1.

THE LYSTROSAURUS ENIGMA: The images in this series are from a north-south striking transect across a thickness of several kilometres of sedimentary strata that are consistently dipping to the north at an ever decreasing angle. Hence, in moving northwards one is continually going upwards in the succession from Carboniferous through late Permian in time. The environment gradually changes from an ice desert through lacustrine (lake) into a wet continental fluvial regime of a very large river system coming off the mountains in the south which are still being pushed up by the major continent-continent collision that is occurring there. The succession is world-famous for its unbroken record of mammal-like reptiles of which Lystrosaurus is one and of which a very large number have been found.

At this level a sudden, very drastic and the most disastrous event in the history of life on Earth, occurs and so the Triassic Period ensues. In the bottom part of the photograph are the last of the green shales of the wet Upper Permian environment. Red Triassic shales suddenly dominate and more than 90% of life on Earth disappears at the Permo-Triassic Boundary. The red colour of the argillaceous (very fine grained) shales, the silt-filled desiccation cracks seen in cross-section nearly halfway up in the image, as well as many other feautures, testify to the sudden domination of a very arid environment. The anatomy of Lystrosaurus with its sprawling gait, it's two tusks grown out of the upper jaw as the only teeth, it's beak-like mouth for cutting vegetation and the nostrils set high on the forehead points towards adaptation to a wet environment and Lystrosaurus is indeed found down to 50 m below the red shales. However, as the red shales appear so do numerous fossils of Lystrosaurus and that just as almost everything around it succumbs to the new hostile environment.

It is now thought that the sudden change was caused by a series of megavolcanic eruptions in present-day Siberia. Not only was an inordinate amount of steam released into the atmosphere, and steam is a serious greenhouse gas, but other toxic gases and huge amounts of very abrasive volcanic ash were pumped into the air and screened out the light of the sun for a long time. Thus died off the plants, hence also the herbivores and then the carnivores. Amidst all of this Lystrosaurus looks around, watches everyone else die and says "Bye bye, I love this" and so continues to happily live through another sequence of sedimentary strata more than 900 m thick, which takes approximately 40,000,000 years to be deposited. This implies that Lystrosaurus was adapted to an arid environment contrary to its anatomical indications. Six different reasons have been offered to explain the peculiar survival of Lystrosaurus but none holds water. So how did Lystrosaurus survive then? Answer is, it did not. It was just as vulnerable as everything else and, being a water-dwelling animal, they converged in pools of water that were drying up, similar to fish in a drying pond, and hence the abundance of Lystrosaurus fossils. And the perceived northerly dip does not exist from here onwards anymore so that where Lystrosaurus is found in the north, it is still at the same level as in the south and not 900 metres higher up, so that it did not persevere through a great thickness of sedimentary deposits and over a period of 40 million years. But please do not tell the palaeontologists as it will only leave me full of bullet holes.

maaciejka, kinglove, Hotelcalifornia, marius-secan, peter_stoeckl has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Ciao Neels, lovely and interesting composition, wonderful natural colors and excellent clarity, very well done, my friend, ciao Silvio

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6417 W: 89 N: 15567] (65144)
  • [2013-10-28 15:45]

Hi Neels,a very interesting and new different form of the rocks,very nice the colors,the details are not the best but very good.Have a nice day and thanks,Luciano

Hi Neels,
another interesting from the series. Incredible colours. Interesting shapes. Excellent presentation.
Thanks for sharing,
Maciek

Ciao Neels,
照的清晰 很漂亮的地層顏色
一條條的白線間隔出來 很美麗
構圖很漂亮 背景好看 謝謝分享
STONE

Hello Mr.Neels,
Nice to go through with your informative NOTE,which is enough to to know about your picture.Like the formation of layer which is the silent witness of the past.Nice details and natural colour.
Thanks for sharing,
Regards and have a nice time,
Srikumar

Hello Neels,
Nice landscape with lovely natural colors. The composition is great.
Excellent clarity and details of this interesting rock formation.
Marius.

Hello Neel,
Excellent capture of an age old relief work,sculpted by the nature,remarkable details and perfectly exposed. TFS.
Regards,
Joy

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