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Re: non-extinction

>What about the vertebrates 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?

Stephen Gould's book about the Burgess shale (Wonderful Life) contains a
fantastic commentary on the nature of extinction.  He likens an extinction
event to an evolutionary lottery, where little more than blind luck
determins whether a species survives or not.  IMHO, I think that Mike's
last suggestion is the most sound.  ASSUMING that the K-T extinction was
really catastrophic (as I like to believe) than life would've been almost
impossible for, probably, every species.

I suppose that the smaller, land living exotherms may have had a better
chance of survival because their metabolisms require so much less energy
(and any endotherm would've had an impossible time because of their energy
needs); but to say that those that survived, did so unnaffected, would be a
gross error.  What really needs to be done, is an extensive combing of late
K and early T sediments to attempt to get an idea of what the life
assemblage was at those times.  I know that any result will probably have
margins of error that would be off the scale :-), but I sense that this
would be the most effective way of determining how severe life was at those
times.  Good luck to anyone who tries this.