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Re: Dinosaur Extinction (Again)



From: ljmac@magna.com.au (Lee J. McLean)

> So the question then becomes: why did certain taxa survive the end of the
> Cretaceous while others didn't? It would take one hell of a catastrophe to
> wipe out _all_ life on earth - not even full-scale nuclear war could do
> this. But while some taxa will always survive, the pattern of extinction
> and survival will not be random. The first animals to go in any extinction
> event are those at the top of the food chain, and that's exactly what the
> dinosurs, and the other taxa that became extinct in their various biomes
> [is this the right term?], were.

Why won't the pattern of extinction be random?  I recall an
article in Science News suggesting the pattern of extinction and
survival at the K-T boundary was random.  (Sorry, I don't recall
the attribution.)

Likewise, why are the animals at the top of the food chain
necessarily the first to go?  The idea makes some sense, but is
there evidence to support the assertion?

Just checking the assumptions...

Andrew Robinson