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Re: T-Rex predator vs loafer
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Peter Sheehan)
> But it now seems that it is more important to get into a niche first than
> it is to have the potential to produce a 'better mouse trap'.
This is pretty much true. An "occupied" niche is very difficult
to get into. It usually only happens when the occupant gets into
trouble for some other reason. Competitive replacement of
large groups, when it does occur, takes many millions of years.
[The cannonical example being the replacement of multituberculates
by rodent, which took about a third of the Tertiary].
Those of us who have studied ecology closely have known this for
That is why I do not place much stock in the "they must have
been warm-blooded to suppress mammals" argument. Dinosaurs
were sufficiently effective in their niches to prevent any
significant competitive replacement.
Even as it is, there is some reson to suspect that the small
dinosaurs niches were eliminated long before the terminal
Cretaceous, partly by mammals, and even more by birds.
The peace of God be with you.