Controversial dinosaur researcher Professor Brian J Ford has ruffled feathers in the paleontology world before with his theories about dinosaurs.
His Aquatic Dinosaur theory, first published in 2012, suggested that the gigantic animals depended at least in part for the bouyancy of water in lakes and shallow seas to support their massive bulk.
Now he’s gone one further. He claims the reason the huge beasts became extinct when so many other forms of life survived the mass extinction 65 million years ago is because they were dependent on “sex lakes”.
“If the vast shallow lakes had persisted, dinosaurs would be with us today”
Professor Brian J Ford
Rather than the fateful asteroid strike that is generally believed to have ended the dinosaurs’ reign, Professor Ford says that continental drift, which pulled apart the supercontinents on which the dinos lived, spelled the end of the shallow lakes they depended on for reproduction.
Professor Ford believes the dinosaurs were so heavy and bulky they could only successfully mate when partly supported by the bouyancy of water.
“As the continents drifted, the shallow lakes shrank, and the dinosaurs’ ecosystem disappeared,” he told The Sun.
“The giant dinosaurs could only evolve wading in shallow water to take their weight,” he says.
“Once the Earth’s surface changed, their environment disappeared … and so did they.
“But if the vast shallow lakes had persisted?” he speculates, “dinosaurs would be with us today. And poachers would be hunting them just as they do any other spectacular wildlife.”
The claims come as part of Professor Ford’s 2018 book, Too Big to Walk: The New Science of Dinosaurs, which sets out to challenge much of the accepted wisdom about those former masters of the planet.
For him, science is not collaboration but combat and he take sgreat pleasure in rubbishing the beliefs of many of his fellow dinosaur experts. He says, toward the end of the book “It is not a quest for new truths, so much as a race by rivals.
“Personal animosity is a greater stimulus to science than the contented spirit of enquiry can ever be”.
Prof. Ford is likely to see plenty of personal animosity from estabished palaeontologists with his insistence on pushing his “aquatic dinosaur” theory.