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Millions of years ago, the Earth began spinning too fast, making all the dinosaurs get sick and die.

Or, frightened stegosauruses seeking refuge from a huge herd of Tyrannosaurus rex dug a trench 134 billion miles deep, causing the Earth's continents to crash together, leading to the demise of all dinosaurs.New theories advanced by scientific experts? New revelations from the hallowed halls of aca-demia?

No, they're some of the entries received in the Wyoming Dinosaur Center's essay contest for students around the state.

Students were asked to write an essay - fact or fiction - answering the question, "what happened to dinosaurs?"

Winning the elementary class division was fourth-grader Shawn Milek of Lucerne School in Ther-mop-olis, while the winner of the grades six and up division was LaFonda Mayes, a sixth-grader at Lovell Middle School.

The contest was sponsored by the Big Horn Basin Geological Research and Education Foundation and the Wyoming Dinosaur Center.

"The reason there are no dinosaurs today is the world spun too fast and made all the dinosaurs get sick and die," according to Thomas Gillgannon, a fourth-grader at Deming Elementary in Cheyenne.

Lucerne School fifth-grader Chelsey Amini developed the frightened-stegosauruses theory.

"They dug a deep trench into the Earth about 134,345,983,900 miles deep," she wrote. "This action damaged the Earth's plates, which caused the clash of the continents."

Jonathon Johnson, a sixth-grader at Powell Middle School, took a different tack.

"Imagine if the dinosaurs hadn't died," he wrote. "Humans wouldn't be here. Dinosaurs would be in charge of the world. . . . Finally dinosaurs would die and humans would start off a couple million years late. . . . Some people think that dinosaurs went into a parallel dimension. I don't think that is a very good theory, but it could be true."

Lucerne School fifth-grader Anna Zupan summed it up succinctly: "Millions of years ago dinosaurs ruled the Earth," she wrote. "Now kids pretty much do."