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species ex. vs. individual deaths
One thing I wanted to point out with this short message is an
annoyance I have with this talk about how small animal species
suffered practically no exinctions deuring the K/T event.
JUST BECAUSE A SPECIES DIDN'T DIE OFF DOESN'T MEAN THAT NONE
OF IT'S MEMBER ANIMALS DIDN'T DIE EITHER!!!
Back in the Creatceous, there were probably 1000's of times
more small critters than there were dinosaurs (I'm just throwing out
the *1000's* figure to make my point, I'm not implying that it's a
statistical truth). So keeping that in mind, small animals such as
frogs and mammals could(and probably did) suffer huge individual
losses...dying off in even larger numbers than the dinosaurs did. But
luckily for our minute animalian friends, there were still enough of
them hiding around to propogate the species; unlike the (non-avian)
dinosaurs of whom ALL species individuals died.
By the way, I'm an "ultimate catasrophist" I guess. I think
changing climates, draining seas and migration diseases were having
small impacts (so to speak) on the animal populations at the time and
then the big rock from the sky came down and put the final nail in
the coffin for the dinosaurs, etc.
I know there's a method to my madness in here somewhere...
Alberta Palaeontological Society
MRC Earth Sciences Society