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Dominoes depict dinosaurs' doom

Watch the demise of the "domino-saurs" in a FlippyCat video.


Paleontologists are still debating whether dinosaurs met their doom quickly or gradually, due to a catastrophic cosmic impact — but thanks to a crazy YouTube video, you can watch the "domino-saurs" die out in a minute and a half.

The way it's portrayed by FlippyCat (a.k.a. Randy Granger of Winnipeg, Canada), a little gray block of dominoes from outer space sets off a chain reaction that spreads across the globe — killing off cute little baby dinosaurs, smashing a big old sauropod to bits and tumbling the bones of a dinosaur skeleton.


It always takes more time to build things up than to knock them down, and that was the case for the demise of the domino-saurs. "This took 38.5 hours of setup time, over about two weeks," FlippyCat wrote. Once you see the behind-the-scenes footage that follows the initial sequence, you'll understand why that is. And you'll probably continue clicking to see some of FlippyCat's other projects, including a domino interpretation of Psy's "Gangnam Style" viral video.

In reality, the death of the dinosaurs took much longer than a minute and a half, and some paleontologists suspect the biggest dinosaurs were already on the way out when that big asteroid hit Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula 65 million years ago.

More about the dinosaurs' demise:


Tip o' the Log to Brian Switek at Dinosaur Tracking.

Alan Boyle is NBCNews.com's science editor. Connect with the Cosmic Log community by "liking" the log's Facebook page, following @b0yle on Twitter and adding the Cosmic Log page to your Google+ presence. To keep up with Cosmic Log as well as NBCNews.com's other stories about science and space, sign up for the Tech & Science newsletter, delivered to your email in-box every weekday. You can also check out "The Case for Pluto," my book about the controversial dwarf planet and the search for new worlds.