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Now, I can understand severe environmental shifts, but the
disappearance of ALL large land herbivores and ALL large land carnivores
implies to me something more on the order of environmental holocaust.
I sit and wonder how on earth the dinosaurs could have gone
extinct, after all that success. And then when I'm done with that, I
wonder how on earth mammals could have gone extinct. They did in one place
in the world, New Zealand. New Zealand broke apart from the remains of
Gondwana ~80 mya ago bearing a full cargo, and the only things that
survived to modern times were ratites, geckos, the tuatara, frogs, etc.
Now, what the HELL happened to all the mammals? They were in Australia and
Antarctica and South America, they must have been in New Zealand, and the
survival of large flightless birds and various vertebrates seems to imply
they could have done well, certainly if you look at how rats- even
flightless bats!- have coped. I don't think that they were there in the
past 65 million years and went extinct. And I don't buy that they weren't
there initially. Which makes me think that it's likely that whatever did
in the dinosaurs did in New Zealand mammals as well.