Feeds

Lack of proper kip killed dinosaurs

Exhausted T-Rex too shattered to cope

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

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. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
Cutting cancer rates: Data, models and a happy ending?
How surgery might be making cancer prognoses worse
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
CRR-CRRRK, beep, beep: Mars space truck backs out of slippery sand trap
Curiosity finds new drilling target after course correction
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
Brit balloon bod Bodnar overflies North Pole
B-64 amateur ultralight payload approaching second circumnavigation
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Scale data protection with your virtual environment
To scale at the rate of virtualization growth, data protection solutions need to adopt new capabilities and simplify current features.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?