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Re: (fwd) Mammals as a cause of Dinosaur extinction
On Fri, 19 Dec 1997, John Bois wrote:
> Careers will be even shorter if scientists summarily dismiss honest
> questions fueled by new research. Again, it is not written that mammals
> or birds did not affect speciatio of non-avian dinosaurs. No matter how
> much you would like to dismiss it.
> New evidence suggest mammals were more diverse than previously believed at
> the K/T. Shouldn't this even cause a ripple of a question in a scientist
> mind? Is there something about mammals and birds around the K/T which a
> priori eliminates them from consideration?
> Can anyone here pretend to know what feats mammals and birds of the K/T
> could or could not do? If not, then don't be so dismissive!
At the risk of inserting my decidedly non-professional head into this
debate, I will point out that mammals and birds would have had a very hard
time eliminating the large (and small, for that matter) marine forms which
were also decimated at the K-T boundary. Even if the new eutherians were
able to force non-avian dinosaurs into extinction due to competition, that
raises some serious parsimony problems, since it requires an additional
explanation for other extinctions that occurred at K-T.
[Charles W. Johnson <firstname.lastname@example.org> - http://www.eskimo.com/~cwj2]
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