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Temptress PG-62 - History

Temptress PG-62 - History


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Temptress

(PG-62: dp. 925; 1. 205'2", b. 33'0" dr. 16'3" (mean)
s. 16.5 k. (tl.); cgl. 87; a. 1 4", 1 3 '; cl. Temptress)

HMS Veronica (K 37)—a "Flower"-class corvette— was laid down early in 1940 at Middlesboro, England, by Smith's Dock Co., Ltd., and launched on 17 October 1940. After serving the Royal Navy in the Atlantic the ship was transferred to the United States on 16 February 1942, renamed Temptress and designated PG-62 the same day; and commissioned in England by the United States Navy on 21 March 1942.

Through the end of March and the first week in April, Temptress completed shakedown training in British waters. Late in April, she put to sea with convoy ON 85 bound for the United States. Upon arrival in the United States, the gunboat reported for duty to the Commander, Eastern Sea Frontier. For the remainder of her career, Temptress cruised along the eastern coast of the United States and in the Caribbean. She escorted convoys between various points along the Atlantic seaboard from New York to Key West, Fla., as well as to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

After a short tour of duty in the 3d Naval District training NROTC midshipmen early in the summer of 1945, Temptress reported to the Commandant, 1st Naval District, on 7 July for final disposition. On 1 August she cleared Boston and, after stopping at Ponta Delgada, Azores, overnight on the 8th and 9th, arrived in Great Britain on 14 August. Temptress was placed out of commission on 20 August 1945 at Chatham, England, and returned to the Royal Navy six days later. Her name was struck from the Navy list on 19 September 1945. The ship was sold in 1946 and entered mercantile service as Verolock. Sunk in January 1947, the ship was subsequently raised and scrapped at Blyth, England, in 1951.


Construction history

In December 1941, after the US entry into World War II, the USN had a large building programme for anti-submarine warfare ships, but none nearing completion. To overcome this shortfall, the Royal Navy agreed to transfer a number of ASW ships to the USN, including ten Flower-class corvettes. These ships had already been in commission and had seen action during the Battle of the Atlantic.

These ships were classified as Patrol Gunboats, and numbered PG 62 to 71, and were referred to as the Temptress class, after the first ship to be re-commissioned.

The USN also placed orders for 15 more "Flowers" from Canadian shipyards. This was met by transferring a number of vessels on order for the RN to USN. These ships were of the Modified Flower type, a design which consolidated the various modifications developed in the course of building the original "Flowers".

In the event the USN only took charge of 8 of these ships the other 7 were transferred back to the RN under Lend-Lease arrangements.

The US ships were numbered PG 86 to 100 and were referred to as the Action class.

The Temptress class were armed with a 4" gun forward, a 3"50 cal. DP gun aft, two 20mm.s, 2 DC racks, and 4 DC throwers. The Action class replaced the 4" with another 3"50 cal. DP gun, and added a Hedgehog ASW. [1]


HMS Veronica (K37)

Alus tilattiin 31. elokuuta 1939 South Bank-on-Teesistä Smiths Dock Companyltä. Sen köli laskettiin 9. heinäkuuta 1940 ja alus laskettiin vesille 17. lokakuuta. Alus valmistui 18. helmikuuta 1941. [1]

Alus luovutettiin 1942 Yhdysvalloille, joka liitti sen laivastoonsa nimellä USS Temptress.

Yhdysvallat vastaanotti 16. helmikuuta 1942 aluksen nimeten sen vielä samana päivänä USS Temptressiksi. Alus otettiin palvelukseen 21. maaliskuuta sen ollessa edelleen Britteinsaarilla. Maaliskuun ja huhtikuun ensimmäisen viikon alus oli koulutettavana ja koeajoissa Britteinsaarten lähivesillä. Huhtikuun lopulla alus liittyi saattueeseen ON85, jonka mukaan se siirtyi Yhdysvaltoihin. Saavuttuaan Yhdysvaltoihin alus liitettiin itärannikolla toimivaan laivastoon, jonka mukana se palveli itärannikolla ja Karibialla suojellen saattueita New Yorkista Key Westiin Floridaan sekä Guantanamonlahdelle Kuubaan. [2]

Oltuaan kesällä 1945 hetken 3. laivastoalueella koululaivana alus ilmoittautui 1. laivastoalueen komentajalle 7. heinäkuuta. Alus lähti 8. elokuuta Bostonista ja vierailtuaan Azoreilla Ponta Delgadossa 8.-9. heinäkuuta se saapui 14. elokuuta Britteinsaarille. Alus poistettiin palveluksesta 20. elokuuta ja se luovutettiin Britannian kuninkaalliselle laivastolle kuusi päivää myöhemmin. Alus myytiin 1946 ja se aloitti kauppalaivastossa nimellä Verolock. Alus upposi tammikuussa 1947 ja se nostettiin romutettavaksi Blythiin vuonna 1951. [3] [2]


Procter & Gamble Company Background

They classify their products into a number of different areas. Here are the major categories. And an example of one or two products from each.

Fabric Care

For example, Tide laundry detergent. This is one of their most well-known brands.

Home Care

Cascade for the dishwasher. And Dawn for when you want to do the dishes by hand.

Don’t forget those Mr. Clean Magic erasures. They can come in pretty handy.

Baby Care

Pampers diapers are a popular item.

Family & Feminine Care

This includes Bounty paper towels, Charmin toilet paper, and Puffs Kleenex. To name just a few.

Personal Health Care

Vicks NyQuil and VapoRub are classic products. I remember using them as a kid.

Oral Care

Crest toothpaste and Scope mouthwash are iconic brands in the oral care category.

Grooming

Gillette razors. Last I looked, they are pretty expensive. And a lot of cheaper competition has come into this segment in recent years.

Hair Care

Head & Shoulders and Old Spice.

Skin And Personal care

That concludes a brief product review. Let’s talk next about business risks. And the company’s strategy to combat them.


Joan of Arc&aposs Trial Was an International Sensation

Perhaps no event during the Middle Ages created a bigger international sensation, writes Daniel Hobbins in his 2005 book, The Trial of Joan of Arc. “‘Such wonders she performed,’ wrote the German theologian Johannes Nider, ‘that not just France but every Christian kingdom stands amazed.’”

According to the trial transcript, Joan was questioned repeatedly not only about the voices she heard, but on why she chose to dress as a man.

“It is both more seemly and proper to dress like this when surrounded by men, than wearing a woman’s clothes,” she told the judges. “While I have been in prison, the English have molested me when I was dressed as a woman. (She weeps.) I have done this to defend my modesty.”

Joan of Arc, as painted by artist Jules Bastien-Lepage, in the moment when Saints Michael, Margaret, and Catherine appear to her in her parents’ garden, rousing her to fight the English invaders in the Hundred Years War.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of Erwin Davis, 1889

During the trial, St. Mary’s University notes, Joan faced six public and nine private examinations, culminating in The Twelve Articles of Accusation, which included the charges of dressing in men’s clothing and hearing voices of the divine. The church officials found her guilty, urging her to repent in order to save her life.

The trial itself was an ecclesiastical procedure covered under canon law𠅊 heresy investigation carried out as an inquisition, according to Hobbins.

“Joan of Arc was tried as a heretic not because she was a woman, though that factor played an important part, nor because she heard voices, but because she heard voices telling her to attack the English,” Hobbins writes. “Joan believed that God favored the French: God was on her side. … As long as she insisted … that her voices were saints telling her to attack the English, she was doomed.”

Hobbins adds that the motivation for the trial was political, because Joan’s claims were political.

“If true,” he writes, “they would have invalidated the English claim to legitimate rule in France. Of course, exposing Joan as a fraud, or as someone deluded by evil spirits, would also have struck at the legitimacy of Charles VII.”


The ‘dragon lady’

The 1967 James Bond film “You Only Live Twice” features two Asian women as Bond girls — an impressive fact when you consider the rarity of Asian women on the big screen today. But the impressiveness certainly fades a bit when in bed, Sean Connery’s Bond asks Ling (Tsai Chin), “Why do Chinese girls taste so different from the others?” Referencing the Chinese dish, Ling tells him, “Darling, I give you very best duck.”

Then, suddenly, Ling pushes a button and mobilizes two armed Asian men into trying to kill him.

On the flip side of the submissive "lotus blossom" stereotype is that of the more dominant "dragon lady," said Yuen. “You’re either an object that’s for the taking or something that could be a temptation, a temptress.”

Oftentimes as sexual as the lotus blossom, the dragon lady manipulates her sexuality toward deadly ends. Ling’s sexuality, for example, was a disguise for her role as a spy. One moment, she was the epitome of submissiveness, playing into Bond’s sexual pleasure the next, she posed a threat to his life. She revealed herself as duplicitous, cold and morally bankrupt.

It’s “servile yet dangerous… a double move,” explained Shimizu. “What’s fascinating about the figure of the Asian woman is this coexistence of the powerful forces of the sex drive and the death drive. She’s a subordinated figure, but she also possesses a force of destruction through her actions.”

The combination of sexuality and danger has been inscribed onto Asian women throughout history — another version of "yellow peril," which pits a scheming, malevolent Asia against the innocence of the West. And while it might appear to push back against the lotus blossom trope, Lopez argues that Hollywood’s dragon ladies are similarly flattened into racialized caricatures.

“I’m sure people think, ‘Oh, it’s so great that they’re so powerful,’ but they’re also violent and hyper-sexualized,” she said. “As well as being side characters who we don’t get to learn a lot about, or villains, so they have to be removed by the end.”

In other words, Asian women are rarely given a personality beyond this extreme, sexualized form of aggression. They're mysterious and unknowable and, necessarily, less deserving of empathy.

It places the burden on Asian women to constantly prove their humanity, said Shimizu. "Like, I can be a normal kid, someone who has a job, and a different kind of person that isn't subsumed by this sexuality that's fearsome."

Where else in pop culture can I find this stereotype?

  • "Daughter of the Dragon," the 1931 crime drama about the daughter of Chinese crime lord Fu Manchu who carries out his murderous biddings
  • "Kill Bill," the 2003 Quentin Tarantino film that, while featuring a host of female assassins, shows Lucy Liu's character committing her murders in traditional Japanese costume
  • "Ally McBeal," the '90s legal-comedy drama in which the one Asian female character is defined by being both ruthlessly mean and sexually adventurous

Contents

The K–Pg extinction event was severe, global, rapid, and selective, eliminating a vast number of species. Based on marine fossils, it is estimated that 75% or more of all species were made extinct. [27]

The event appears to have affected all continents at the same time. Non-avian dinosaurs, for example, are known from the Maastrichtian of North America, Europe, Asia, Africa, South America, and Antarctica, [31] but are unknown from the Cenozoic anywhere in the world. Similarly, fossil pollen shows devastation of the plant communities in areas as far apart as New Mexico, Alaska, China, and New Zealand. [25]

Despite the event's severity, there was significant variability in the rate of extinction between and within different clades. Species that depended on photosynthesis declined or became extinct as atmospheric particles blocked sunlight and reduced the solar energy reaching the ground. This plant extinction caused a major reshuffling of the dominant plant groups. [32] Omnivores, insectivores, and carrion-eaters survived the extinction event, perhaps because of the increased availability of their food sources. No purely herbivorous or carnivorous mammals seem to have survived. Rather, the surviving mammals and birds fed on insects, worms, and snails, which in turn fed on detritus (dead plant and animal matter). [33] [34] [35]

In stream communities, few animal groups became extinct, because such communities rely less directly on food from living plants, and more on detritus washed in from the land, protecting them from extinction. [36] Similar, but more complex patterns have been found in the oceans. Extinction was more severe among animals living in the water column than among animals living on or in the sea floor. Animals in the water column are almost entirely dependent on primary production from living phytoplankton, while animals on the ocean floor always or sometimes feed on detritus. [33] Coccolithophorids and mollusks (including ammonites, rudists, freshwater snails, and mussels), and those organisms whose food chain included these shell builders, became extinct or suffered heavy losses. For example, it is thought that ammonites were the principal food of mosasaurs, a group of giant marine reptiles that became extinct at the boundary. [37] The largest air-breathing survivors of the event, crocodyliforms and champsosaurs, were semi-aquatic and had access to detritus. Modern crocodilians can live as scavengers and survive for months without food, and their young are small, grow slowly, and feed largely on invertebrates and dead organisms for their first few years. These characteristics have been linked to crocodilian survival at the end of the Cretaceous. [34]

After the K–Pg extinction event, biodiversity required substantial time to recover, despite the existence of abundant vacant ecological niches. [33]

Microbiota Edit

The K–Pg boundary represents one of the most dramatic turnovers in the fossil record for various calcareous nanoplankton that formed the calcium deposits for which the Cretaceous is named. The turnover in this group is clearly marked at the species level. [38] [39] Statistical analysis of marine losses at this time suggests that the decrease in diversity was caused more by a sharp increase in extinctions than by a decrease in speciation. [40] The K–Pg boundary record of dinoflagellates is not so well understood, mainly because only microbial cysts provide a fossil record, and not all dinoflagellate species have cyst-forming stages, which likely causes diversity to be underestimated. [33] Recent studies indicate that there were no major shifts in dinoflagellates through the boundary layer. [41]

Radiolaria have left a geological record since at least the Ordovician times, and their mineral fossil skeletons can be tracked across the K–Pg boundary. There is no evidence of mass extinction of these organisms, and there is support for high productivity of these species in southern high latitudes as a result of cooling temperatures in the early Paleocene. [33] Approximately 46% of diatom species survived the transition from the Cretaceous to the Upper Paleocene, a significant turnover in species but not a catastrophic extinction. [33] [42]

The occurrence of planktonic foraminifera across the K–Pg boundary has been studied since the 1930s. [43] Research spurred by the possibility of an impact event at the K–Pg boundary resulted in numerous publications detailing planktonic foraminiferal extinction at the boundary [33] there is ongoing debate between groups which think the evidence indicates substantial extinction of these species at the K–Pg boundary, [44] and those who think the evidence supports multiple extinctions and expansions through the boundary. [45] [46]

Numerous species of benthic foraminifera became extinct during the event, presumably because they depend on organic debris for nutrients, while biomass in the ocean is thought to have decreased. As the marine microbiota recovered, it is thought that increased speciation of benthic foraminifera resulted from the increase in food sources. [33] Phytoplankton recovery in the early Paleocene provided the food source to support large benthic foraminiferal assemblages, which are mainly detritus-feeding. Ultimate recovery of the benthic populations occurred over several stages lasting several hundred thousand years into the early Paleocene. [47] [48]

Marine invertebrates Edit

There is significant variation in the fossil record as to the extinction rate of marine invertebrates across the K–Pg boundary. The apparent rate is influenced by a lack of fossil records, rather than extinctions. [33]

Ostracods, a class of small crustaceans that were prevalent in the upper Maastrichtian, left fossil deposits in a variety of locations. A review of these fossils shows that ostracod diversity was lower in the Paleocene than any other time in the Cenozoic. Current research cannot ascertain whether the extinctions occurred prior to, or during, the boundary interval. [49] [50]

Approximately 60% of late-Cretaceous Scleractinia coral genera failed to cross the K–Pg boundary into the Paleocene. Further analysis of the coral extinctions shows that approximately 98% of colonial species, ones that inhabit warm, shallow tropical waters, became extinct. The solitary corals, which generally do not form reefs and inhabit colder and deeper (below the photic zone) areas of the ocean were less impacted by the K–Pg boundary. Colonial coral species rely upon symbiosis with photosynthetic algae, which collapsed due to the events surrounding the K–Pg boundary, [51] [52] but the use of data from coral fossils to support K–Pg extinction and subsequent Paleocene recovery, must be weighed against the changes that occurred in coral ecosystems through the K–Pg boundary. [33]

The numbers of cephalopod, echinoderm, and bivalve genera exhibited significant diminution after the K–Pg boundary. Most species of brachiopods, a small phylum of marine invertebrates, survived the K–Pg extinction event and diversified during the early Paleocene. [33]

Except for nautiloids (represented by the modern order Nautilida) and coleoids (which had already diverged into modern octopodes, squids, and cuttlefish) all other species of the molluscan class Cephalopoda became extinct at the K–Pg boundary. These included the ecologically significant belemnoids, as well as the ammonoids, a group of highly diverse, numerous, and widely distributed shelled cephalopods. Researchers have pointed out that the reproductive strategy of the surviving nautiloids, which rely upon few and larger eggs, played a role in outsurviving their ammonoid counterparts through the extinction event. The ammonoids utilized a planktonic strategy of reproduction (numerous eggs and planktonic larvae), which would have been devastated by the K–Pg extinction event. Additional research has shown that subsequent to this elimination of ammonoids from the global biota, nautiloids began an evolutionary radiation into shell shapes and complexities theretofore known only from ammonoids. [53] [54]

Approximately 35% of echinoderm genera became extinct at the K–Pg boundary, although taxa that thrived in low-latitude, shallow-water environments during the late Cretaceous had the highest extinction rate. Mid-latitude, deep-water echinoderms were much less affected at the K–Pg boundary. The pattern of extinction points to habitat loss, specifically the drowning of carbonate platforms, the shallow-water reefs in existence at that time, by the extinction event. [55]

Other invertebrate groups, including rudists (reef-building clams) and inoceramids (giant relatives of modern scallops), also became extinct at the K–Pg boundary. [56] [57]

Fish Edit

There are substantial fossil records of jawed fishes across the K–Pg boundary, which provide good evidence of extinction patterns of these classes of marine vertebrates. While the deep-sea realm was able to remain seemingly unaffected, there was an equal loss between the open marine apex predators and the durophagous demersal feeders on the continental shelf. Within cartilaginous fish, approximately 7 out of the 41 families of neoselachians (modern sharks, skates, and rays) disappeared after this event and batoids (skates and rays) lost nearly all the identifiable species, while more than 90% of teleost fish (bony fish) families survived. [58] [59]

In the Maastrichtian age, 28 shark families and 13 batoid families thrived, of which 25 and 9, respectively, survived the K–T boundary event. Forty-seven of all neoselachian genera cross the K–T boundary, with 85% being sharks. Batoids display with 15%, a comparably low survival rate. [58] [60]

There is evidence of a mass extinction of bony fishes at a fossil site immediately above the K–Pg boundary layer on Seymour Island near Antarctica, apparently precipitated by the K–Pg extinction event [61] the marine and freshwater environments of fishes mitigated the environmental effects of the extinction event. [62]

Terrestrial invertebrates Edit

Insect damage to the fossilized leaves of flowering plants from fourteen sites in North America was used as a proxy for insect diversity across the K–Pg boundary and analyzed to determine the rate of extinction. Researchers found that Cretaceous sites, prior to the extinction event, had rich plant and insect-feeding diversity. During the early Paleocene, flora were relatively diverse with little predation from insects, even 1.7 million years after the extinction event. [63] [64]

Terrestrial plants Edit

There is overwhelming evidence of global disruption of plant communities at the K–Pg boundary. [25] [65] [66] Extinctions are seen both in studies of fossil pollen, and fossil leaves. [25] In North America, the data suggests massive devastation and mass extinction of plants at the K–Pg boundary sections, although there were substantial megafloral changes before the boundary. [25] [67] In North America, approximately 57% of plant species became extinct. In high southern hemisphere latitudes, such as New Zealand and Antarctica, the mass die-off of flora caused no significant turnover in species, but dramatic and short-term changes in the relative abundance of plant groups. [63] [68] In some regions, the Paleocene recovery of plants began with recolonizations by fern species, represented as a fern spike in the geologic record this same pattern of fern recolonization was observed after the 1980 Mount St. Helens eruption. [69]

Due to the wholesale destruction of plants at the K–Pg boundary, there was a proliferation of saprotrophic organisms, such as fungi, that do not require photosynthesis and use nutrients from decaying vegetation. The dominance of fungal species lasted only a few years while the atmosphere cleared and plenty of organic matter to feed on was present. Once the atmosphere cleared, photosynthetic organisms, initially ferns and other ground-level plants, returned. [70] Just two species of fern appear to have dominated the landscape for centuries after the event. [71]

Polyploidy appears to have enhanced the ability of flowering plants to survive the extinction, probably because the additional copies of the genome such plants possessed, allowed them to more readily adapt to the rapidly changing environmental conditions that followed the impact. [72]

Fungi Edit

While it appears that many fungi were wiped out at the K-Pg boundary, it is worth noting that evidence has been found indicating that some fungal species thrived in the years after the extinction event. Microfossils from that period indicate a great increase in fungal spores, long before the resumption of plentiful fern spores in the recovery after the impact. Monoporisporites and hypha are almost exclusive microfossils for a short span during and after the iridium boundary. These saprophytes would not need sunlight, allowing them to survive during a period when the atmosphere was likely clogged with dust and sulfur aerosols. [70]

The proliferation of fungi has occurred after several extinction events, including the Permian-Triassic extinction event, the largest known mass extinction in Earth's history, with up to 96% of all species suffering extinction. [73]

Amphibians Edit

There is limited evidence for extinction of amphibians at the K–Pg boundary. A study of fossil vertebrates across the K–Pg boundary in Montana concluded that no species of amphibian became extinct. [74] Yet there are several species of Maastrichtian amphibian, not included as part of this study, which are unknown from the Paleocene. These include the frog Theatonius lancensis [75] and the albanerpetontid Albanerpeton galaktion [76] therefore, some amphibians do seem to have become extinct at the boundary. The relatively low levels of extinction seen among amphibians probably reflect the low extinction rates seen in freshwater animals. [77]

Non-archosaurs Edit

Turtles Edit

More than 80% of Cretaceous turtle species passed through the K–Pg boundary. All six turtle families in existence at the end of the Cretaceous survived into the Paleogene and are represented by living species. [78]

Lepidosauria Edit

The living non-archosaurian reptile taxa, lepidosaurians (snakes, lizards and tuataras), survived across the K–Pg boundary. [33]

The rhynchocephalians were a widespread and relatively successful group of lepidosaurians during the early Mesozoic, but began to decline by the mid-Cretaceous, although they were very successful in South America. [79] They are represented today by a single genus (the Tuatara), located exclusively in New Zealand. [80]

The order Squamata, which is represented today by lizards, snakes and amphisbaenians (worm lizards), radiated into various ecological niches during the Jurassic and was successful throughout the Cretaceous. They survived through the K–Pg boundary and are currently the most successful and diverse group of living reptiles, with more than 6,000 extant species. Many families of terrestrial squamates became extinct at the boundary, such as monstersaurians and polyglyphanodonts, and fossil evidence indicates they suffered very heavy losses in the K–T event, only recovering 10 million years after it. [81]

Non-archosaurian marine reptiles Edit

Giant non-archosaurian aquatic reptiles such as mosasaurs and plesiosaurs, which were the top marine predators of their time, became extinct by the end of the Cretaceous. [82] [83] The ichthyosaurs had disappeared from fossil records before the mass extinction occurred. [84]

Archosaurs Edit

The archosaur clade includes two surviving groups, crocodilians and birds, along with the various extinct groups of non-avian dinosaurs and pterosaurs. [85]

Crocodyliforms Edit

Ten families of crocodilians or their close relatives are represented in the Maastrichtian fossil records, of which five died out prior to the K–Pg boundary. [86] Five families have both Maastrichtian and Paleocene fossil representatives. All of the surviving families of crocodyliforms inhabited freshwater and terrestrial environments—except for the Dyrosauridae, which lived in freshwater and marine locations. Approximately 50% of crocodyliform representatives survived across the K–Pg boundary, the only apparent trend being that no large crocodiles survived. [33] Crocodyliform survivability across the boundary may have resulted from their aquatic niche and ability to burrow, which reduced susceptibility to negative environmental effects at the boundary. [62] Jouve and colleagues suggested in 2008 that juvenile marine crocodyliforms lived in freshwater environments as do modern marine crocodile juveniles, which would have helped them survive where other marine reptiles became extinct freshwater environments were not so strongly affected by the K–Pg extinction event as marine environments were. [87]

Pterosaurs Edit

One family of pterosaurs, Azhdarchidae, was definitely present in the Maastrichtian, and it likely became extinct at the K–Pg boundary. These large pterosaurs were the last representatives of a declining group that contained ten families during the mid-Cretaceous. Several other pterosaur lineages may have been present during the Maastrichtian, such as the ornithocheirids, pteranodontids, nyctosaurids, as well as a possible tapejarid, though they are represented by fragmentary remains that are difficult to assign to any given group. [88] [89] While this was occurring, modern birds were undergoing diversification traditionally it was thought that they replaced archaic birds and pterosaur groups, possibly due to direct competition, or they simply filled empty niches, [62] [90] [91] but there is no correlation between pterosaur and avian diversities that are conclusive to a competition hypothesis, [92] and small pterosaurs were present in the Late Cretaceous. [93] At least some niches previously held by birds were reclaimed by pterosaurs prior to the K–Pg event. [94]

Birds Edit

Most paleontologists regard birds as the only surviving dinosaurs (see Origin of birds). It is thought that all non-avian theropods became extinct, including then-flourishing groups such as enantiornithines and hesperornithiforms. [95] Several analyses of bird fossils show divergence of species prior to the K–Pg boundary, and that duck, chicken, and ratite bird relatives coexisted with non-avian dinosaurs. [96] Large collections of bird fossils representing a range of different species provides definitive evidence for the persistence of archaic birds to within 300,000 years of the K–Pg boundary. The absence of these birds in the Paleogene is evidence that a mass extinction of archaic birds took place there. [21]

The most successful and dominant group of avialans, enantiornithes, were wiped out. Only a small fraction of ground and water-dwelling Cretaceous bird species survived the impact, giving rise to today's birds. [21] [97] The only bird group known for certain to have survived the K–Pg boundary is the Aves. [21] Avians may have been able to survive the extinction as a result of their abilities to dive, swim, or seek shelter in water and marshlands. Many species of avians can build burrows, or nest in tree holes, or termite nests, all of which provided shelter from the environmental effects at the K–Pg boundary. Long-term survival past the boundary was assured as a result of filling ecological niches left empty by extinction of non-avian dinosaurs. [62] The open niche space and relative scarcity of predators following the K-Pg extinction allowed for adaptive radiation of various avian groups. Ratites, for example, rapidly diversified in the early Paleogene and are believed to have convergently developed flightlessness at least three to six times, often fulfilling the niche space for large herbivores once occupied by non-avian dinosaurs. [29] [98] [99]

Non-avian dinosaurs Edit

Excluding a few controversial claims, scientists agree that all non-avian dinosaurs became extinct at the K–Pg boundary. The dinosaur fossil record has been interpreted to show both a decline in diversity and no decline in diversity during the last few million years of the Cretaceous, and it may be that the quality of the dinosaur fossil record is simply not good enough to permit researchers to distinguish between the options. [100] There is no evidence that late Maastrichtian non-avian dinosaurs could burrow, swim, or dive, which suggests they were unable to shelter themselves from the worst parts of any environmental stress that occurred at the K–Pg boundary. It is possible that small dinosaurs (other than birds) did survive, but they would have been deprived of food, as herbivorous dinosaurs would have found plant material scarce and carnivores would have quickly found prey in short supply. [62]

The growing consensus about the endothermy of dinosaurs (see dinosaur physiology) helps to understand their full extinction in contrast with their close relatives, the crocodilians. Ectothermic ("cold-blooded") crocodiles have very limited needs for food (they can survive several months without eating), while endothermic ("warm-blooded") animals of similar size need much more food to sustain their faster metabolism. Thus, under the circumstances of food chain disruption previously mentioned, non-avian dinosaurs died out, [32] while some crocodiles survived. In this context, the survival of other endothermic animals, such as some birds and mammals, could be due, among other reasons, to their smaller needs for food, related to their small size at the extinction epoch. [101]

Whether the extinction occurred gradually or suddenly has been debated, as both views have support from the fossil record. A study of 29 fossil sites in Catalan Pyrenees of Europe in 2010 supports the view that dinosaurs there had great diversity until the asteroid impact, with more than 100 living species. [102] More recent research indicates that this figure is obscured by taphonomic biases and the sparsity of the continental fossil record. The results of this study, which were based on estimated real global biodiversity, showed that between 628 and 1,078 non-avian dinosaur species were alive at the end of the Cretaceous and underwent sudden extinction after the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event. [103] Alternatively, interpretation based on the fossil-bearing rocks along the Red Deer River in Alberta, Canada, supports the gradual extinction of non-avian dinosaurs during the last 10 million years of the Cretaceous layers there, the number of dinosaur species seems to have decreased from about 45 to approximately 12. Other scientists have made the same assessment following their research. [104]

Several researchers support the existence of Paleocene non-avian dinosaurs. Evidence of this existence is based on the discovery of dinosaur remains in the Hell Creek Formation up to 1.3 m (4 ft 3.2 in) above and 40,000 years later than the K–Pg boundary. [105] Pollen samples recovered near a fossilized hadrosaur femur recovered in the Ojo Alamo Sandstone at the San Juan River in Colorado, indicate that the animal lived during the Cenozoic, approximately 64.5 Ma (about 1 million years after the K–Pg extinction event). If their existence past the K–Pg boundary can be confirmed, these hadrosaurids would be considered a dead clade walking. [106] The scientific consensus is that these fossils were eroded from their original locations and then re-buried in much later sediments (also known as reworked fossils). [107]

Choristodere Edit

The choristoderes (semi-aquatic archosauromorphs) survived across the K–Pg boundary [33] but would die out in the early Miocene. [108] Studies on Champsosaurus ' palatal teeth suggest that there were dietary changes among the various species across the K–Pg event. [109]

Mammals Edit

All major Cretaceous mammalian lineages, including monotremes (egg-laying mammals), multituberculates, metatherians, eutherians, dryolestoideans, [110] and gondwanatheres [111] survived the K–Pg extinction event, although they suffered losses. In particular, metatherians largely disappeared from North America, and the Asian deltatheroidans became extinct (aside from the lineage leading to Gurbanodelta). [112] In the Hell Creek beds of North America, at least half of the ten known multituberculate species and all eleven metatherians species are not found above the boundary. [100] Multituberculates in Europe and North America survived relatively unscathed and quickly bounced back in the Paleocene, but Asian forms were devastated, never again to represent a significant component of mammalian fauna. [113] A recent study indicates that metatherians suffered the heaviest losses at the K–Pg event, followed by multituberculates, while eutherians recovered the quickest. [114]

Mammalian species began diversifying approximately 30 million years prior to the K–Pg boundary. Diversification of mammals stalled across the boundary. [115] Current research indicates that mammals did not explosively diversify across the K–Pg boundary, despite the ecological niches made available by the extinction of dinosaurs. [116] Several mammalian orders have been interpreted as diversifying immediately after the K–Pg boundary, including Chiroptera (bats) and Cetartiodactyla (a diverse group that today includes whales and dolphins and even-toed ungulates), [116] although recent research concludes that only marsupial orders diversified soon after the K–Pg boundary. [115]

K–Pg boundary mammalian species were generally small, comparable in size to rats this small size would have helped them find shelter in protected environments. It is postulated that some early monotremes, marsupials, and placentals were semiaquatic or burrowing, as there are multiple mammalian lineages with such habits today. Any burrowing or semiaquatic mammal would have had additional protection from K–Pg boundary environmental stresses. [62]

North American fossils Edit

In North American terrestrial sequences, the extinction event is best represented by the marked discrepancy between the rich and relatively abundant late-Maastrichtian pollen record and the post-boundary fern spike. [65]

At present the most informative sequence of dinosaur-bearing rocks in the world from the K–Pg boundary is found in western North America, particularly the late Maastrichtian-age Hell Creek Formation of Montana. Comparison with the older Judith River Formation (Montana) and Dinosaur Park Formation (Alberta), which both date from approximately 75 Ma, provides information on the changes in dinosaur populations over the last 10 million years of the Cretaceous. These fossil beds are geographically limited, covering only part of one continent. [100]

The middle–late Campanian formations show a greater diversity of dinosaurs than any other single group of rocks. The late Maastrichtian rocks contain the largest members of several major clades: Tyrannosaurus, Ankylosaurus, Pachycephalosaurus, Triceratops, and Torosaurus, [117] which suggests food was plentiful immediately prior to the extinction.

In addition to rich dinosaur fossils, there are also plant fossils that illustrate the reduction in plant species across the K–Pg boundary. In the sediments below the K–Pg boundary the dominant plant remains are angiosperm pollen grains, but the boundary layer contains little pollen and is dominated by fern spores. [118] More usual pollen levels gradually resume above the boundary layer. This is reminiscent of areas blighted by modern volcanic eruptions, where the recovery is led by ferns, which are later replaced by larger angiosperm plants. [119]

Marine fossils Edit

The mass extinction of marine plankton appears to have been abrupt and right at the K–Pg boundary. [120] Ammonite genera became extinct at or near the K–Pg boundary there was a smaller and slower extinction of ammonite genera prior to the boundary associated with a late Cretaceous marine regression. The gradual extinction of most inoceramid bivalves began well before the K–Pg boundary, and a small, gradual reduction in ammonite diversity occurred throughout the very late Cretaceous. [121]

Further analysis shows that several processes were in progress in the late Cretaceous seas and partially overlapped in time, then ended with the abrupt mass extinction. [121] The diversity of marine life decreased when the climate near the K–Pg boundary increased in temperature. The temperature increased about three to four degrees very rapidly between 65.4 and 65.2 million years ago, which is very near the time of the extinction event. Not only did the climate temperature increase, but the water temperature decreased, causing a drastic decrease in marine diversity. [122]

Megatsunamis Edit

The scientific consensus is that the asteroid impact at the K–Pg boundary left megatsunami deposits and sediments around the area of the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico, from the colossal waves created by the impact. [123] These deposits have been identified in the La Popa basin in northeastern Mexico, [124] platform carbonates in northeastern Brazil, [125] in Atlantic deep-sea sediments, [126] and in the form of the thickest-known layer of graded sand deposits, around 100 m (330 ft), in the Chicxulub crater itself, directly above the shocked granite ejecta.

The megatsunami has been estimated at more than 100 m (330 ft) tall, as the asteroid fell into relatively shallow seas in deep seas it would have been 4.6 km (2.9 mi) tall. [127]

Fossils in sedimentary rocks deposited during the impact Edit

Fossiliferous sedimentary rocks deposited during the K–Pg impact have been found in the Gulf of Mexico area, including tsunami wash deposits carrying remains of a mangrove-type ecosystem, evidence that after the impact water sloshed back and forth repeatedly in the Gulf of Mexico, and dead fish left in shallow water but not disturbed by scavengers. [128] [129] [130] [131] [132]

The rapidity of the extinction is a controversial issue, because some theories about its causes imply a rapid extinction over a relatively short period (from a few years to a few thousand years), while others imply longer periods. The issue is difficult to resolve because of the Signor–Lipps effect, where the fossil record is so incomplete that most extinct species probably died out long after the most recent fossil that has been found. [133] Scientists have also found very few continuous beds of fossil-bearing rock that cover a time range from several million years before the K–Pg extinction to several million years after it. [33] The sedimentation rate and thickness of K–Pg clay from three sites suggest rapid extinction, perhaps over a period of less than 10,000 years. [134] At one site in the Denver Basin of Colorado, after the K–Pg boundary layer was deposited, the fern spike lasted approximately 1,000 years, and no more than 71,000 years at the same location, the earliest appearance of Cenozoic mammals occurred after approximately 185,000 years, and no more than 570,000 years, "indicating rapid rates of biotic extinction and initial recovery in the Denver Basin during this event." [135]

Evidence for impact Edit

In 1980, a team of researchers consisting of Nobel Prize-winning physicist Luis Alvarez, his son, geologist Walter Alvarez, and chemists Frank Asaro and Helen Michel discovered that sedimentary layers found all over the world at the Cretaceous–Paleogene boundary contain a concentration of iridium many times greater than normal (30, 160, and 20 times in three sections originally studied). Iridium is extremely rare in Earth's crust because it is a siderophile element which mostly sank along with iron into Earth's core during planetary differentiation. As iridium remains abundant in most asteroids and comets, the Alvarez team suggested that an asteroid struck the Earth at the time of the K–Pg boundary. [10] There were earlier speculations on the possibility of an impact event, but this was the first hard evidence. [136]

This hypothesis was viewed as radical when first proposed, but additional evidence soon emerged. The boundary clay was found to be full of minute spherules of rock, crystallized from droplets of molten rock formed by the impact. [137] Shocked quartz [c] and other minerals were also identified in the K–Pg boundary. [138] [139] The identification of giant tsunami beds along the Gulf Coast and the Caribbean provided more evidence, [140] and suggested that the impact may have occurred nearby—as did the discovery that the K–Pg boundary became thicker in the southern United States, with meter-thick beds of debris occurring in northern New Mexico. [25]

Further research identified the giant Chicxulub crater, buried under Chicxulub on the coast of Yucatán, as the source of the K–Pg boundary clay. Identified in 1990 [12] based on work by geophysicist Glen Penfield in 1978, the crater is oval, with an average diameter of roughly 180 km (110 mi), about the size calculated by the Alvarez team. [141] The discovery of the crater—a prediction of the impact hypothesis—provided conclusive evidence for a K–Pg impact, and strengthened the hypothesis that it caused the extinction.

In a 2013 paper, Paul Renne of the Berkeley Geochronology Center dated the impact at 66.043 ± 0.011 million years ago, based on argon–argon dating. He further posits that the mass extinction occurred within 32,000 years of this date. [3] [142]

In 2007, it was proposed that the impactor belonged to the Baptistina family of asteroids. [143] This link has been doubted, though not disproved, in part because of a lack of observations of the asteroid and its family. [144] It was reported in 2009 that 298 Baptistina does not share the chemical signature of the K–Pg impactor. [145] Further, a 2011 Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) study of reflected light from the asteroids of the family estimated their break-up at 80 Ma, giving them insufficient time to shift orbits and impact Earth by 66 Ma. [146]

Additional evidence for the impact event is found at the Tanis site in southwestern North Dakota, United States. [147] Tanis is part of the heavily studied Hell Creek Formation, a group of rocks spanning four states in North America renowned for many significant fossil discoveries from the Upper Cretaceous and lower Paleocene. [148] Tanis is an extraordinary and unique site because it appears to record the events from the first minutes until a few hours after the impact of the giant Chicxulub asteroid in extreme detail. [149] [150] Amber from the site has been reported to contain microtektites matching those of the Chicxulub impact event. [151] However, the finds have been met with skepticism by other geologists, who question its interpretation or who are skeptical of the team leader, Robert DePalma, who had not yet received his Ph.D. in geology at the time of the discovery and whose commercial activities have been regarded with suspicion. [152]

Effects of impact Edit

In March 2010, an international panel of 41 scientists reviewed 20 years of scientific literature and endorsed the asteroid hypothesis, specifically the Chicxulub impact, as the cause of the extinction, ruling out other theories such as massive volcanism. They had determined that a 10-to-15-kilometer (6 to 9 mi) asteroid hurtled into Earth at Chicxulub on Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula. The collision would have released the same energy as 100 teratonnes of TNT (420 zettajoules)—more than a billion times the energy of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. [13]

The Chicxulub impact caused a global catastrophe. Some of the phenomena were brief occurrences immediately following the impact, but there were also long-term geochemical and climatic disruptions that devastated the ecology.

The re-entry of ejecta into Earth's atmosphere would include a brief (hours-long) but intense pulse of infrared radiation, cooking exposed organisms. [62] This is debated, with opponents arguing that local ferocious fires, probably limited to North America, fall short of global firestorms. This is the "Cretaceous–Paleogene firestorm debate". A paper in 2013 by a prominent modeler of nuclear winter suggested that, based on the amount of soot in the global debris layer, the entire terrestrial biosphere might have burned, implying a global soot-cloud blocking out the sun and creating an impact winter effect. [153]

Aside from the hypothesized fire and/or impact winter effects, the impact would have created a dust cloud that blocked sunlight for up to a year, inhibiting photosynthesis. [120] The asteroid hit an area of carbonate rock containing a large amount of combustible hydrocarbons and sulphur, [154] much of which was vaporized, thereby injecting sulfuric acid aerosols into the stratosphere, which might have reduced sunlight reaching the Earth's surface by more than 50%, and would have caused acid rain. [120] [155] The resulting acidification of the oceans would kill many organisms that grow shells of calcium carbonate. At Brazos section, the sea surface temperature dropped as much as 7 °C (13 °F) for decades after the impact. [156] It would take at least ten years for such aerosols to dissipate, and would account for the extinction of plants and phytoplankton, and subsequently herbivores and their predators. Creatures whose food chains were based on detritus would have a reasonable chance of survival. [101] [120] Freezing temperatures probably lasted for at least three years. [157]

If widespread fires occurred, they would have increased the CO
2 content of the atmosphere and caused a temporary greenhouse effect once the dust clouds and aerosol settled this would have exterminated the most vulnerable organisms that survived the period immediately after the impact. [158]

Most paleontologists now agree that an asteroid did hit the Earth at approximately the end of the Cretaceous, but there was still an ongoing dispute for some time on whether the impact was the sole cause of the extinctions. [46] [159] There is evidence that dinosaurs had been in decline for up to 50 million years already due to changing environmental factors. [160]

Several studies in 2020, like Hull et al. [16] [161] and Chiarenza et al. [162] [163] show quantitatively that the Cretaceous–Paleogene Mass Extinction about 66 million years ago was mostly a result of a meteorite impact (the Chicxulub impactor) and not a result of volcanism. [16] [161]

Beyond extinction impacts, the event also caused more general changes of flora and fauna such as giving rise to neotropical rainforest biomes like the Amazonia, replacing species composition and structure of local forests during

2016 Chicxulub crater drilling project Edit

In 2016, a scientific drilling project obtained deep rock-core samples from the peak ring around the Chicxulub impact crater. The discoveries confirmed that the rock comprising the peak ring had been shocked by immense pressure and melted in just minutes from its usual state into its present form. Unlike sea-floor deposits, the peak ring was made of granite originating much deeper in the earth, which had been ejected to the surface by the impact. Gypsum is a sulfate-containing rock usually present in the shallow seabed of the region it had been almost entirely removed, vaporized into the atmosphere. Further, the event was immediately followed by a megatsunami [d] sufficient to lay down the largest known layer of sand separated by grain size directly above the peak ring.

These findings strongly support the impact's role in the extinction event. The impactor was large enough to create a 190-kilometer-wide (120 mi) peak ring, to melt, shock, and eject deep granite, to create colossal water movements, and to eject an immense quantity of vaporized rock and sulfates into the atmosphere, where they would have persisted for several years. This worldwide dispersal of dust and sulfates would have affected climate catastrophically, led to large temperature drops, and devastated the food chain. [166] [167]

Although the concurrence of the end-Cretaceous extinctions with the Chicxulub asteroid impact strongly supports the impact hypothesis, some scientists continue to support other contributing causes: volcanic eruptions, climate change, sea level change, and other impact events. The end-Cretaceous event is the only mass extinction known to be associated with an impact, and other large impacts, such as the Manicouagan Reservoir impact, do not coincide with any noticeable extinction events. [168]

Deccan Traps Edit

Before 2000, arguments that the Deccan Traps flood basalts caused the extinction were usually linked to the view that the extinction was gradual, as the flood basalt events were thought to have started around 68 Mya and lasted more than 2 million years. The most recent evidence shows that the traps erupted over a period of only 800,000 years spanning the K–Pg boundary, and therefore may be responsible for the extinction and the delayed biotic recovery thereafter. [169]

The Deccan Traps could have caused extinction through several mechanisms, including the release of dust and sulfuric aerosols into the air, which might have blocked sunlight and thereby reduced photosynthesis in plants. In addition, Deccan Trap volcanism might have resulted in carbon dioxide emissions that increased the greenhouse effect when the dust and aerosols cleared from the atmosphere. [170] [171]

In the years when the Deccan Traps hypothesis was linked to a slower extinction, Luis Alvarez (d. 1988) replied that paleontologists were being misled by sparse data. While his assertion was not initially well-received, later intensive field studies of fossil beds lent weight to his claim. Eventually, most paleontologists began to accept the idea that the mass extinctions at the end of the Cretaceous were largely or at least partly due to a massive Earth impact. Even Walter Alvarez acknowledged that other major changes may have contributed to the extinctions. [172]

Combining these theories, some geophysical models suggest that the impact contributed to the Deccan Traps. These models, combined with high-precision radiometric dating, suggest that the Chicxulub impact could have triggered some of the largest Deccan eruptions, as well as eruptions at active volcanoes anywhere on Earth. [173] [174]

Multiple impact event Edit

Other crater-like topographic features have also been proposed as impact craters formed in connection with Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction. This suggests the possibility of near-simultaneous multiple impacts, perhaps from a fragmented asteroidal object similar to the Shoemaker–Levy 9 impact with Jupiter. In addition to the 180 km (110 mi) Chicxulub crater, there is the 24 km (15 mi) Boltysh crater in Ukraine ( 65.17 ± 0.64 Ma ), the 20 km (12 mi) Silverpit crater in the North Sea ( 59.5 ± 14.5 Ma ) possibly formed by bolide impact, and the controversial and much larger 600 km (370 mi) Shiva crater. Any other craters that might have formed in the Tethys Ocean would since have been obscured by the northward tectonic drift of Africa and India. [175] [176] [177] [178]

Maastrichtian sea-level regression Edit

There is clear evidence that sea levels fell in the final stage of the Cretaceous by more than at any other time in the Mesozoic era. In some Maastrichtian stage rock layers from various parts of the world, the later layers are terrestrial earlier layers represent shorelines and the earliest layers represent seabeds. These layers do not show the tilting and distortion associated with mountain building, therefore the likeliest explanation is a regression, a drop in sea level. There is no direct evidence for the cause of the regression, but the currently accepted explanation is that the mid-ocean ridges became less active and sank under their own weight. [33] [179]

A severe regression would have greatly reduced the continental shelf area, the most species-rich part of the sea, and therefore could have been enough to cause a marine mass extinction, but this change would not have caused the extinction of the ammonites. The regression would also have caused climate changes, partly by disrupting winds and ocean currents and partly by reducing the Earth's albedo and increasing global temperatures. [121]

Marine regression also resulted in the loss of epeiric seas, such as the Western Interior Seaway of North America. The loss of these seas greatly altered habitats, removing coastal plains that ten million years before had been host to diverse communities such as are found in rocks of the Dinosaur Park Formation. Another consequence was an expansion of freshwater environments, since continental runoff now had longer distances to travel before reaching oceans. While this change was favorable to freshwater vertebrates, those that prefer marine environments, such as sharks, suffered. [100]

Multiple causes Edit

Proponents of multiple causation view the suggested single causes as either too small to produce the vast scale of the extinction, or not likely to produce its observed taxonomic pattern. [100] In a review article, J. David Archibald and David E. Fastovsky discussed a scenario combining three major postulated causes: volcanism, marine regression, and extraterrestrial impact. In this scenario, terrestrial and marine communities were stressed by the changes in, and loss of, habitats. Dinosaurs, as the largest vertebrates, were the first affected by environmental changes, and their diversity declined. At the same time, particulate materials from volcanism cooled and dried areas of the globe. Then an impact event occurred, causing collapses in photosynthesis-based food chains, both in the already-stressed terrestrial food chains and in the marine food chains.

Based on studies at Seymour Island in Antarctica, Sierra Petersen and colleagues argue that there were two separate extinction events near the Cretaceous–Paleogene boundary, with one correlating to Deccan Trap volcanism and one correlated with the Chicxulub impact. [180] The team analyzed combined extinction patterns using a new clumped isotope temperature record from a hiatus-free, expanded K–Pg boundary section. They documented a 7.8±3.3 °C warming synchronous with the onset of Deccan Traps volcanism and a second, smaller warming at the time of meteorite impact. They suggest local warming may have been amplified due to the simultaneous disappearance of continental or sea ice. Intra-shell variability indicates a possible reduction in seasonality after Deccan eruptions began, continuing through the meteorite event. Species extinction at Seymour Island occurred in two pulses that coincide with the two observed warming events, directly linking the end-Cretaceous extinction at this site to both volcanic and meteorite events via climate change. [180]

The K–Pg extinction had a profound effect on the evolution of life on Earth. The elimination of dominant Cretaceous groups allowed other organisms to take their place, causing a remarkable amount of species diversification during the Paleogene period. [28] The most striking example is the replacement of dinosaurs by mammals. After the K–Pg extinction, mammals evolved rapidly to fill the niches left vacant by the dinosaurs. Also significant, within the mammalian genera, new species were approximately 9.1% larger after the K–Pg boundary. [181]

Other groups also substantially diversified. Based on molecular sequencing and fossil dating, many species of birds (the Neoaves group in particular) appeared to radiate after the K–Pg boundary. [29] [182] They even produced giant, flightless forms, such as the herbivorous Gastornis and Dromornithidae, and the predatory Phorusrhacidae. The extinction of Cretaceous lizards and snakes may have led to the evolution of modern groups such as iguanas, monitor lizards, and boas. [22] On land, giant boid and enormous madtsoiid snakes appeared, and in the seas, giant sea snakes evolved. Teleost fish diversified explosively, [30] filling the niches left vacant by the extinction. Groups appearing in the Paleocene and Eocene epochs include billfish, tunas, eels, and flatfish. Major changes are also seen in Paleogene insect communities. Many groups of ants were present in the Cretaceous, but in the Eocene ants became dominant and diverse, with larger colonies. Butterflies diversified as well, perhaps to take the place of leaf-eating insects wiped out by the extinction. The advanced mound-building termites, Termitidae, also appear to have risen in importance. [183]


Anne Boleyn: witch, bitch, temptress, feminist

A s a small child I remember being told by a solemn nun that Anne Boleyn had six fingers on one hand. In the nun's eyes, it was the kind of deformity that Protestants were prone to it was for Anne's sake, as everyone knew, that Henry VIII had broken away from Rome and plunged his entire nation into the darkness of apostasy. If it weren't for this depraved woman, England would be as holy as Ireland, and we'd all eat fish on Friday and come from families of 12.

Anne Boleyn wasn't exactly a Protestant, but she was a reformer, an evangelical and the sixth finger, which no one saw in her lifetime, was a fragment of black propaganda directed at her daughter, Elizabeth I. In Elizabeth's reign it was the duty of beleaguered papists to demonstrate that the queen's mother had been physically and spiritually deformed. Hence, not just the extra finger but the "wen" on her throat, which supposedly she hid with jewellery: hence the deformed foetus to which she was said to have given birth. There is no evidence that this monster baby ever existed, yet some modern historians and novelists insist on prolonging its poor life, attracted to the most lurid version of events they can devise.

Anne Boleyn is one of the most controversial women in English history we argue over her, we pity and admire and revile her, we reinvent her in every generation. She takes on the colour of our fantasies and is shaped by our preoccupations: witch, bitch, feminist, sexual temptress, cold opportunist. She is a real woman who has acquired an archetypal status and force, and one who patrols the nightmares of good wives she is the guilt-free predator, the man-stealer, the woman who sets out her sexual wares and extorts a fantastic price. She is also the mistress who, by marrying her lover, creates a job vacancy. Her rise is glittering, her fall sordid. God pays her out. The dead take revenge on the living. The moral order is reasserted.

Much of what we think we know about Anne melts away on close inspection. We can't say for certain what year she was born, and there are many things we don't understand about how her violent death was contrived. Holbein created incisive portraits of Henry VIII and his courtiers, but there is no reliable contemporary likeness of Anne. The oval face, the golden "B" with the pendant pearls: the familiar image and its many variants are reconstructions, more or less romantic, prettified. The fact that some antique hand has written her name on a portrait does not mean that we are looking at Henry's second queen. Her image, her reputation, her life history is nebulous, a drifting cloud, a mist with certain points of colour and definition. Her eyes, it was said, were "black and beautiful". On her coronation day she walked the length of Westminster Abbey on a cloth of heaven-blue. Twice in her life at least she wore a yellow dress: once at her debut at court in 1521, and again near the end of her life, on the frozen winter's day when, on learning of the death of Henry's first queen, she danced.

When she first appeared at court she was about 21 years old, lithe, ivory-skinned, not a conventional beauty but vital and polished, glowing. Her father Thomas Boleyn was an experienced diplomat, and Anne had spent her teenage years at the French court. Even now, Englishwomen envy the way a Frenchwoman presents herself: that chic self-possession that is so hard to define or imitate. Anne had brought home an alluring strangeness: we imagine her as sleek, knowing, self-controlled. There is no evidence of an immediate attraction between Henry and the new arrival. But if, when she danced in that first masque, she raised her eyes to the king, what did she see? Not the obese, diseased figure of later years, but a man 6' 3" in height, trim-waisted, broad-chested, in his athletic prime: pious, learned, the pattern of courtesy, as accomplished a musician as he was a jouster. She saw all this but above all, she saw a married man.

Katherine of Aragon. Photograph: Getty Images

Within weeks of his accession to the throne in 1509, the teenage Henry had married a pre-used bride. Katherine of Aragon had originally been brought to England to marry his elder brother. But some four months after the marriage, Arthur died. For seven years Katherine lived neglected in London, her splendid title of Dowager Princess of Wales disguising her frugal housekeeping arrangements and dwindling hopes. Henry was her rescuer he was in love with her, he told everyone, this was no cold political arrangement. Katherine was the daughter of two reigning monarchs: educated, gracious and regal, she had been trained for queenship and saw it as her vocation. She had been a tiny auburn-haired beauty when she came to England. Seven years older than Henry, she was shapeless and showing her age by the time Anne glided on to the scene. Katherine had many pregnancies, but her babies died before or soon after birth. Only one child survived, a daughter, Mary but Henry needed a son. Private misfortune, by the mid-1520s, was beginning to look like public disaster. Henry wondered if he should marry again. Cardinal Wolsey, Henry's chief minister, began to survey the available French princesses.

It was only in theory, and for humble people, that marriage was for life. The rulers of Europe could and did obtain annulments, for a price, from sympathetic popes. Henry failed not because of papal high principles, but because a series of political and military events put Katherine's nephew, the Emperor Charles, in a position to thwart him. While his canon lawyers and courtiers cajoled and bribed, sweating blood to make Henry a free man, the king had already come up with an unlikely replacement for Katherine. We don't know exactly when he fell for Anne Boleyn. Her sister Mary had already been his mistress. Perhaps Henry simply didn't have much imagination. The court's erotic life seems knotted, intertwined, almost incestuous the same faces, the same limbs and organs in different combinations. The king did not have many affairs, or many that we know about. He recognised only one illegitimate child. He valued discretion, deniability. His mistresses, whoever they were, faded back into private life.

But the pattern broke with Anne Boleyn. She would not go to bed with him, even though he wrote her love letters in his own effortful hand. He drew a heart and wrote his initials and hers, carving them into the paper like a moody adolescent. In time favours were granted. She allowed him to kiss her breasts. Her "pretty duckies", he called them. She had made the man a fool.

This, at least, was the view of most of Europe. No one dreamed that Henry would put aside a princess of Spain for the daughter of a mere gentleman. Nor could the English aristocracy credit what was happening. Long after the break with Rome, they remained revolted by Boleyn pretensions and loyal to Katherine and the pope. Anne did have the backing of a powerful kinsman, the Duke of Norfolk her father had been lucky enough to marry into the powerful Howard clan. But for some years, the situation was deadlocked. There were two queens, the official one and the unofficial one: the king was sleeping with neither. Wolsey had been fortune's favourite, but failure to obtain the divorce cost him his career. He was exiled from court though he died a natural death, it was under the shadow of the axe. Anne moved into his London palace. Still she kept Henry at a distance. She was, and is, credited with serpentine sexual wiles, as well as a vindictive streak that ruined anyone who crossed her. The truth may be more prosaic. Henry had decided at some point that Anne was the woman who would give him a healthy son. He wanted that son to be born in wedlock. It may have been he who insisted on self-control, and Anne who simmered and fretted.

The man who cut the knot and gave Henry his heart's desire was Thomas Cromwell, the pushy son of a Putney brewer. Cromwell had been in Wolsey's service and narrowly survived when the great man fell. In his 40s, he was a bustling, jovial man with a plain face and a busy and ingenious mind. In a land in thrall to tradition, Cromwell was in love with innovation. One of his innovations was the Church of England. If Rome won't give you a divorce, why not grant your own? Since new things had to be disguised as old things, Henry stated he was, and always had been, lawful head of the English church. Soon his subjects would be required to take an oath recognising this fact.

In the autumn of 1532 Henry and Anne crossed the channel. They stayed in Calais, an English enclave, and held talks with the French king. The weather turned foul and the English fleet was trapped in port. Henry and Anne went to bed together, and married hurriedly in a private ceremony when they were back on English soil. Anne was six months pregnant when she was crowned queen. Henry was so sure that the child would be a boy that he had the proclamations written in advance, "prince" proudly blazoned. When a daughter emerged, extra letters had to be squashed in. But Henry was not downhearted. "If it is a girl this time, boys will follow."

The psychology of the relationship between Henry and Anne is impenetrable at this distance, but contemporaries did not understand it either. The courtship lasted longer than the marriage. They quarrelled and made up, and if Anne thought Henry was looking at another woman she made jealous scenes. She was untrained in the iron self-control that Katherine had exercised. She thought, perhaps, that as Henry had married her out of passion and not out of duty, she would keep him enthralled until the arrival of a son made her status safe. But whereas duty is sustainable, passion seldom is. The discarded Katherine lived far from London, under house arrest, humiliated by her circumstances, unrelenting in her animosity to the woman who had displaced her and (as she thought) corrupted her good husband. Anne, for her part, was said to be plotting to poison both Katherine and her daughter Mary.

Aware of the reputation she trailed, Anne tried to limit the damage. She was a Bible reader, who told the women in her household to dress and behave soberly cultured, she was a patron of scholars, and keenly interested in the reform doctrines that Henry himself would not embrace. But as Goodwife Anne, she didn't convince. Had there been lovers before the king? Gossip was rife. She surrounded herself with young men who vied for her favour. The conventions of courtly love mix with something very modern, very recognisable: a married woman's wish to test out how her powers of attraction are surviving the years. Henry was not a great lover, after all. Or so it emerged later, in a court of law. In the queen's private rooms, the young men and his wife were laughing at him: at the songs he wrote, at his clothes, and at his lack of sexual prowess and technique.

Thomas Cromwell. Photograph: Gustavo Tomsich/Corbis

At some point in 1535 Anne had quarrelled with Thomas Cromwell. Later, in Elizabethan times, it would be suggested that the idealist Anne was in dispute with the money-grubbing minister over the fate of the monasteries. The dissolution was soon to begin, and the smaller institutions were now in the king's sights. Anne, the story goes, wanted to conserve the monasteries as educational facilities. At best, this is only a partial reason for their split. Cromwell might well have retorted that the defence of the realm was more urgent. The outside world remained consistently hostile to Henry's romance and to his new title as supreme head of the church in England. No regime in Europe accepted his actions, and Rome could not be reconciled. Even Martin Luther would not give the second marriage his blessing. A sentence of excommunication hung over Henry. If implemented, it would make England a pariah nation any Catholic ruler would be authorised to step in and help himself to the kingdom.

Anne had not risen in the world as a solitary star she trailed an ambitious family with her. By 1535 Cromwell was outshining them all, accumulating offices of state. Anne had been his patron, but he had outgrown her, and by the spring of 1536 she had lost her value to him. It was Katherine's death that changed everything. The old queen's end was lonely. Probably cancer killed her, though rumours of poison spread when the embalmer found a black growth clinging to her heart.

When the court heard that Katherine was dead, there was celebration. It was premature. On the day of the funeral Anne miscarried a male foetus. It was her second miscarriage at least. It seemed she was no good to Henry for breeding purposes. And in the eyes of those who did not recognise his second marriage, the king was now a widower, ready to make an advantageous European match. Katherine dead, Cromwell could patch the quarrel with the emperor. This would lift the threat of crippling trade embargos, and the threat of invasion. Anne was in Cromwell's way, but he could not have acted against her alone. He might have circumvented her, discredited her, sidelined her but it was not his business to kill her. It was Henry who was disenchanted with the woman he had waited for for so long. It was spring, and he was in love again.

What was it, this business of being "in love?" It was still rather strange to the 16th-century gentleman, who married for solid dynastic or financial advantage. The love poetry of the era attests to skirmishing in the sexual undergrowth, to histories of frustration and faithlessness Anne's group of friends was full of part-time versifiers and one of her circle, Thomas Wyatt, made an indelible impression on English literature. But Wyatt's tone is often cynical or disappointed. There was love and there was marriage and they seldom coincided. His own marriage was wretchedly unhappy. Anne's uncle, the Duke of Norfolk, allegedly beat his wife. But the king had higher expectations. In Katherine's time he had written a song which said: "I love true where I did marry." He expected to sing this song again, and this time to Jane Seymour.

One of Anne's ladies, Jane was the self-effacing daughter of a thrusting family. She was not especially young, nor beautiful, nor witty. What did Henry see in her? The Spanish ambassador sniggered that "no doubt she has a very fine enigme" it is an interesting way to refer to a woman's sexual organs. The ambassador did not think Jane could be a virgin after so long at Henry's court, but Henry did not doubt that this dull little woman had been waiting all her life for a prince's kiss. Anne has usually been characterised as clever and Jane as stupid, a compliant doll manipulated by her brothers and the papist faction at court. There is another interpretation possible that Jane had observed, assessed, and seized her chance, acting with calmness and skill. Whatever her true character, her exterior was soothing. Henry and Anne had worn their quarrels like jewels. But Henry was weary. His superb athlete's body was failing him. An accident in the spring of 1536 brought to an end the jousting career in which he had taken such pride. His temper was short. His weight was increasing. He had always worried about his health, and now he had reason. In a moment of despair he had said: "I see that God will not give me male children." Jane cheered him up wonderfully her family were numerous, and she was expected to breed.

If Cromwell devised the manner of Anne's downfall, the responsibility for it rests squarely with Henry. He was not a simple man who could be misled by his ministers. It is true he could be pushed and nudged and panicked four years later, after Cromwell's execution, he would try to put the blame elsewhere, claiming that he had been misled. But the king was the man who gave the orders and as far as we know he never regretted Anne, or looked back, or mentioned her again after her death. The ruin of the Boleyns was sudden, compacted into a period of three weeks. Behind-the-scenes activity suggests that Henry explored the possibility of annulling his marriage and letting Anne retire, to the country or a convent this was the way he would get rid of his unwanted fourth wife, Anne of Cleves.

But nothing in Anne's history or nature suggested she would agree to a quiet withdrawal. Like Katherine, she would go to war, and Henry did not have the patience to wait for Jane. When the arrests began, panic possessed the court. Anne's ladies, we can assume, rushed to denounce her in an effort to save themselves. Anne was not liked. On a personal level she was high-handed and difficult. She had alienated her powerful uncle, the Duke of Norfolk. Without the king's affection she was nothing. No one but her immediate family could be expected to help her. Her father did nothing, and her brother, George Boleyn, was soon locked up himself, accused of an incestuous affair with her.

Seven men were taken into custody. One of them, a nonentity, was quietly forgotten and quietly released. Another, the poet Wyatt, was Cromwell's friend. He may have saved himself by giving a statement against Anne, and no charges were made, though he was held for some time. Of the five men who would die, four had nuisance value to Cromwell the other was collateral damage. They were personally close to the king, and this is what hurt Henry so much the charge, which he appeared to believe, that Anne had been sleeping with his best friends.

Traitor's Gate at the Tower of London. Photograph: Graham Turner for the Guardian

When Anne was arrested and taken to the Tower she began to unravel she talked wildly about her co-accused, repeated the words she had exchanged with them desperate to make sense of her situation, she detailed public quarrels, the jealousies and in-fighting within her circle. Every word went back to Cromwell. He may not have had a case till Anne built it for him. Accustomed to brinksmanship, Cromwell had reached out to some unlikely allies in recent weeks: the papists, the old families who resented the Boleyns. They thought they were using him to bring Anne down, and that they could ditch him afterwards. He knew they were serving his purposes, and had every intention of ditching them.

Anne was not charged with witchcraft, as some people believe. She was charged with treasonable conspiracy to procure the king's death, a charge supported by details of adultery. It was alleged she had discussed which of her lovers she would marry after the king's death. The clear implication was that his death could be hastened. Only one of the men confessed: Mark Smeaton, a musician. In Henry's England, gentlemen were not tortured. Mark was not a gentleman. But if he was physically ill-treated, no one saw the damage Cromwell was frightening enough, even without a rack.

Anne's supporters hate anyone who says so, but it is possible that she did have affairs. The allegations seem wildly implausible to us, but clearly did not seem so at the time. It is said that the details of the indictments do not stand up to scrutiny, that Anne could not have been where she was alleged to be on this date or that. But this misses the point. If Anne was not where everybody thought she was, that did not count in her favour. If she had risen from childbed to meet a lover, that showed her a monster of lust. It is the incest allegation that seems lurid overkill. But the 16th century did not invest incest with especial loathing. It was one of a range of sinful sexual choices. In the days when brothers and sisters seldom grew up together, genetic attraction no doubt occurred more frequently than it does in the nuclear family. If the allegations were true Anne's conduct was, contemporaries agreed, abominable. But they did not assume her innocence. Led by love or lust, people will do anything. Look what Henry had done.

The Duke of Norfolk presided over his niece's trial. Later Cromwell, who liked worthy opponents and had respected Katherine, would commend the intelligence and spirit with which Anne defended herself. But her "lovers" had already been tried and convicted, and if they were guilty, Anne must be. Henry brought in the Calais executioner to behead his wife with a sword. He may have groaned as he disbursed the man's vast fee, but the expert was worth his price. Anne's death was instantaneous.

Her head and her body were placed in a discarded arrow chest and buried in the crypt of the chapel at the Tower. But her black eyes were open wide and fixed on the future, hypnotising later generations as they did Henry. Today, we are still scrapping over the how and the why of her rise and fall. The narrative of her destruction, though partial, is vivid and terrifying. "I have only a little neck," she told the Constable of the Tower. And, he reported, she put her hands around her throat. And laughed.


Cleopatra and Fake News: How ancient Roman political needs created a mythic temptress

Horace, writing not long after the Battle of Actium in 31 BCE, reflects the contemporary Roman horror at the behavior of Marc Antony fighting with Cleopatra against Rome, where traditional Romans demonized and stereotyped her as a fearsome and loathsome manipulator. She was a foreign woman without morals who possessed a sexual allure so powerful as to corrupt even a Roman soldier as honorable as Antony.

The glamour of this story was, and still is, worthy of a Hollywood movie and a Shakespeare play. However, we must ask ourselves if we can find the historic Cleopatra in all this salacious drama. The wealth of the Egyptian queen dazzled and horrified the Roman peoples, who valued military austerity and plain living. Rome was in the last years of its Republic era Roman senators were always at pains to emphasize their sobriety and economy. Octavian, the man who vanquished Cleopatra, was also about to vanquish the republican style of rule and declare himself emperor. To smooth his way to power he also emphasized his traditional Roman “family values,” so that his ascent to absolute power would be acclaimed rather than rejected.

Shirine Babb (Cleopatra) and Cody Nickell (Antony) in Antony and Cleopatra, directed by Robert Richmond, Folger Theatre, 2017. Costumes by Mariah Hale. Photo by Teresa Wood.

The Roman distaste of powerful women, their misunderstanding of the Egyptian way of life, and Octavian’s political need to consolidate his rise to dictator created our image of Cleopatra today. Writers under Octavian/Augustus Caesar had a vested interest in emphasizing the rumors about the immoral and weak natures of both Antony and Cleopatra. Antony was a popular politician who stood in Octavian’s way, so he was branded as a weak drunkard, powerless to resist the Egyptian queen. Cleopatra is likened to the more frightening women in Greek and Roman myth, cast as an eastern Medea. The accounts of the time emphasize the fortune of the Roman people that their newly created dictator vanquished such a terrifying creature.

Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra was inspired by Plutarch, who was writing in the 2nd C AD – almost 200 years after the death of the famous couple. His Cleopatra was the consummate manipulator who loved not Antony but power and pulled his puppet strings to make him dance to her tune. Plutarch’s account can be no more accepted as fact than any other Roman account of Cleopatra, but it also forms the backbone of most Hollywood movies.

Vivien Leigh as Cleopatra, with Laurence Olivier as Antony. 1952. Folger Shakespeare Library.

Egyptian sources on this famous queen were mostly lost when the library of Alexandria was destroyed. Cleopatra’s primary residence was located in the delta area of Egypt where archaeological remains are notoriously poorly preserved. The Egyptian record of the historic Cleopatra is sparse, so the accounts of those who hated and feared her speak that much louder.

Her myth became more fantastically overheated as the centuries progressed. A late antique writer insisted that “she was so insatiable that she often played the prostitute…so beautiful that many men paid for a single night with their lives” (De viris illustribus, 86.2). Instead of a shrewd and sophisticated ruler, trying to stave off Rome’s subjugation of her peoples for as long as possible, we are left with an imaginary Cleopatra, born of fantasy and fear. She embodies all the concerns of the misogynistic Roman male elite whose advancement depended on blackening her name.


Temptress PG-62 - History

Greta Garbo is the title character in MGM's "The Temptress" from 1926 (released Oct. 3) &mdash a Parisian femme fatale who drives men to homicidal madness. One suitor is the protagonist, Robledo (Antonio Moreno), who is in charge of a dam construction project in Argentina.

The dam shown is the St. Francis in Saugus, Calif. In an approximately 30-second sequence, we see four views of the St. Francis Dam under construction &mdash in moving pictures.

Later in the film (shot at MGM Studios in Culver City), Robledo's main rival, Manos Duras (Roy D'Arcy), blows up the dam - a model of the St. Francis. A rainstorm ensues, and floodwaters breach what's left of the (fake) dam.

With a bit of artistic license, life imitated art less than two years later.

We must acknowledge author Jon Wilkman for bringing "The Temptress" to our attention in his 2016 book, "Floodpath: The Deadliest Man-Made Disaster of 20th-century America and the Making of Modern Los Angeles."

NOTE ABOUT THIS FILM CLIP: From the slate that reads, "He is coming!" at the 0:50 mark, we jump immediately to a later 11-minute sequence that covers the make-believe collapse and flood.


Powerhouse 2 Construction Camp


FILM: St. Francis Under Construction in "The Temptress" (MGM 1926)



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