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"Mike Styzen Shelf Expl, <email@example.com> wrote:
>What about the vertibrates that made it through? did they really sail
>right on by whatever happened as implied? Or did they scrape by by the
>skin on their teeth like the nannos did?
Birds got plastered at the K/T boundary. Big-time plastered.
According to fossil bird expert Alan Feduccia in _Science_, vol. 267, Feb.
3, 1995, pp. 637-638, the major orders of birds got wiped out at the K/T
boundary. Only a small, previously minor group of birds (probably a
monophyletic group of birds) slipped through: Neornithes. After the K/T
boundary, Feduccia claims that most modern orders of birds appeared within a
period of 10 or so million years. Song birds didn't appear and diversify
until the Miocene (40 million years after the K/T boundary).
Mammals didn't fare any better. There was a radiation of therian mammals
prior to the K/T boundary, so studying the so-called "explosive radiation"
of mammals above the boundary gets a little complicated. Cretaceous-esque
mammals existed well into the Tertiary, but in very dimminished numbers.
For instance the multituberculates were the dominant small mammals of the
Mesozoic, but became small-time bit-players in the Tertiary. "Multi's"
hung on until the Oligocene.
For 10 million years after the K/T boundary, there were NO large
carnivoran-type mammals. Or at least none have been found yet. It looks like
things got out of whack for the Mammalia too. Malcom McKenna wrote a good
summary of the radiation of mammals in _Natural History_ last? year.
It was either in 1994 or 1993. I recall that Novacek had something in that
article also. The articles were meant for the general public.