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the birds and the crocs
In response to two points in Stan Friesen's latest:
> I do not know of any large crocodilian that actually *spans* the
> boundary. The largest crocodilian ever dies at or near the
> boundary (Leidyosuchus, aka Phobosuchus).
Um, I thought this sounded a little strange because I've seen
Leidyosuchus in many early Tertiary faunal lists. Turns out that
Carroll (1988: Vert Paleo and Evolution) lists Leidyosuchus as
ranging from Late Cretaceous to Eocene, and furthermore identifies
Phobosuchus as a junior synonym of Deinosuchus, which is restricted
to the Late Cretaceous (is Deinosuchus what you meant to say?).
> Apparently the small theropods ("coelurosaurs") could
> not compete effectively with birds, and lost out to them about
> the middle of the Cretaceous, if not sooner.
What makes you think that? 1) Birds fly; 2) Even the smallest
coelurosaurs ("size of a large dog") would have been several orders
of magnitude larger than the average bird; 3) Most birds aren't
carnivorous, they're granivorous, insectivorous, or frugivorous.