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This thread may well be dead and buried, but that doesn't mean I've stopped
thinking about it. It's bothered me for a long time that small, flightless birds
could co-exist in the Cretaceous with such formidable ground-bound predators as
the theropods. Think about it: there are no small flightless birds where there
are large, (native!) terrestrial predators (OK, this isn't exactly correct, but
is essentially so, please don't niggle ;)--;)!!).

Yet in the Cret we've got _Patagopteryx_, _Mononykus_ and all their equally
small, equally flightless friends and relatives. Is it not conceivable that
_Mononykus_, which was granted clawed forelimbs via exaptation from conservative
ancestors, enlarged its odd digit as a defensive weapon? 


I never did get Ronald's posting on gracility (I was de-listed at the time).
Does anybody have it still, if so can they fwd it to me? Many thanks...

"The level of intelligence that we have has not been evolved before and... will
not be evolved again. I don't see nature making that mistake twice, do you?"

DARREN 'just enough money to buy a Chicken Classic burger... but not much else'