Feeds

Lack of proper kip killed dinosaurs

Exhausted T-Rex too shattered to cope

High performance access to file storage

Forget meteorite strikes and global cooling - the dinosaurs were killed off by a lack of proper kip, according to Niels Rattenborg of the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology.

And it wasn't because they were too knackered to run away from extinction-causing threats, either - they apparently didn't survive "because their reptilian sleeping patterns meant their brains did not learn new skills properly", as the Scotsman puts it.

Specifically, reptiles can't get a proper night's zeds and therefore don't experience "slow wave sleep, the type of sleep believed to be responsible for boosting memories, especially those connected to performing new tasks".

Mammals and birds suffer no such deprivation, thereby benefiting from the "enhancements in both learning and physical performance" which slow wave sleep promotes by closing down those parts of the brain which have "acquired new skills, thereby allowing this learning to become consolidated without interruption".

The upshot of all of this is that as the Earth's climate changed, the poor old dinosaurs weren't able to learn enough "new tricks" to muddle on, the theory claims.

Hmmmm. Regarding birds and mammals, the research does point to one interesting thing: if both experience slow wave sleep, they must have evolved this ability independently, coming as they do from different evolutionary lines, with our flying friends being more closely related to modern, shattered reptiles.

Niels Rattenborg's paper is published in the Brain Research Bulletin. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Video games make you NASTY AND VIOLENT
Especially if you are bad at them and keep losing
Russian deputy PM: 'We are coming to the Moon FOREVER'
Plans to annex Earth's satellite with permanent base by 2030
Solar-powered aircraft unveiled for round-the-world flight
It's going to be a slow and sleepy flight for the pilots
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
India's GPS alternative launches second satellite
Closed satnav system due to have all seven birds aloft by 2016
Curiosity finds not-very-Australian-shaped rock on Mars
File under 'messianic pastries' and move on, people
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.