Changes in the Air Questions

After reading the article external arrow by By Sid Perkins. ©Science News. 12/17/2005, answer these questions.

  1. Describe the relationship between atmospheric oxygen levels and biodiversity.
  2. What happened 2.5 billion years ago?
  3. List three processes that put oxygen into the atmosphere.
  4. Describe processes that remove oxygen from the atmosphere.
  5. What is a biologic consequence of high atmospheric oxygen levels?
  6. Contrast today's atmospheric oxygen levels with the Carboniferous period.
  7. How do arthropods breathe?
  8. What is the biologic effects of low atmospheric oxygen?
  9. Describe what happened to atmospheric oxygen levels at the end of the Permian. Note: the end of the Permian period is the beginning of the Triassic period.
  10. What was the effect on sedimentation of the Permian-Triassic plant die-off?
  11. List the organism die-off percentages at the Permian-Triassic.
  12. Where in Washington would you have to go today to experience those low atmospheric oxygen levels?
  13. What evidence did Dr. Ward note that hints at Permian/Triassic animal oxygen stress?
  14. Why might have biodiversity flourished as the Triassic progressed?
  15. What good news occurred about 15 million years after the Permian-Triassic die-off?
  16. What was innovative about dinosaurs?
  17. Flap your rhamphorhynchoid wings. Contrast your oxygen needs regarding flapping vs. just gliding.
  18. Who else showed up in the Triassic? Describe why we think they needed higher oxygen levels.
  19. What other evidence (besides the fossil evidence) do we have that mammals arose between 100 to 65 million years ago?
  20. How much of your energy is needed to fuel your large brain?
  21. Why do placental mammals have higher oxygen needs than marsupials?
  22. Use the changes 50 million years ago in atmospheric oxygen and average global temperatures to comment on humananity's sense of time and geologic time.
  23. Twenty-five million years ago oxygen levels rose to _____ % and began to decline to today's level of _____%.
  24. Describe the impact of the atmospheric oxygen decline on the megamammals of those times.
  25. Why do large mammals need proportional more atmospheric oxygen?
  26. Make a proportional timeline graphing time vs. oxygen levels (y-axis). Use the long axis of your lined paper for the x-axis.