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> I am not seeking to be critical, but I wonder if a bird has the time
> (evolutionary speaking) to evolve into a larger size and not be so heavily
> preyed  upon; while evolving, that the population cannot sustain itself. Is
> not one of Dr. Gould's hypotheses in his theory of "puncuative equilibrium"
> (my spelling will get me on this one),  that isolated populations are more
> likely to evolve into new species?  It would seem to me that a likely
> scenario would be an isolated population that is being selected for increased
> size to take advantage of new prey resources at a time that they have no
> predators themselves.  

     "Isolation" used in terms of speciation means isolation of a 
population from the rest of its species.  It does not refer to other 
species or ecosystems.  The same predators could be present in the 
isolated group's area.   

LN Jeff