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Re: Raptor Intelligence

John Schneiderman writes:

> Taking the model one step further...had the dinosaurs survived extinction,
> it is possible that rudimentary intelligence would soon follow.  It wasn't
> that long ago (about 2 mybp) that ancient homonids possessed only animal
> intelligences.

Taking the model further isn't always a valid step.  There is a fair
amount of information suggesting that specialization may well be a
contrasurvival genetic tendency, and highly intelligent creatures are
specialized for intelligence just as winged ones are specialized for
flight.  Look, for instance, at how close we have come to vaporizing
the whole surface of our planet...  Later dinosaur species show greater
and greater specialization - the ceratopsians are a prime example of
it.  I think it's likely that they'd gradually have died off anyway,
K-T boundary or no, just as other animals such as Megatherium and
Smilodon have done and just as we humans could do now that we have
specialized ourselves down to only one species.  One biological
catastrophe could kill us off - AIDS, for instance.

The most successful creatures are not very specialized - take the
cockroaches, for instance, and observe how few species there are.  They
can live almost anywhere, eat almost anything, and survive almost any
terrestrial environmental conditions short of volcanic.


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