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>The earliest true ratites of which I am aware (_Paleocursornis_ doesn't
>look ratite to me, and, of course, _Patagopteryx_ is definitely not) are
>from the Eocene Messel fauna. This was an area inhabited by large
>hyaenodontid creodonts, vicious little miacids, terrestrial crocodiles,
>_Diatryma_ and flying raptors!! Predator-free my ar*e!! Go figure (in
>the words of a certain list member).

This matches my impression - but I must point out that recent research
suggests that Diatryma was, not, after all, a carnivore but a rather
sluggish herbivore.  I have no idea if this is right or not, but there it is.
Ronald I. Orenstein                           Phone: (905) 820-7886 (home)
International Wildlife Coalition              Fax/Modem: (905) 569-0116 (home)
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