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Re: Subject: Bird hibernation/torpor

John Bois wrote:
> Tom Holtz and Betty Cunningham both note that dry conditions did
> support dinosaurs in the Gobi.  I attack this argument on two
> fronts: first, that they became extinct because they had nowhere
> to hide, i.e., there was no grass; 

Many of these were late Cretaceous animals.  They went extinct likely
for the same reasons everybody else went extinct.  We won't know WHY
till more evidence presence itself.  AND there was no grass for the
ENTIRE PREHISTORY OF DINOSAURS-all 200 million years of it.  So it's
absence is not a reason to become exinct in a given area.  It's like
saying dinosaurs went extinct because they had no access to computer
terminals.  There is no cross-over when they would have had ANY access. 
Grass evolved after dinosaurs were already extinct.

> and, second, in its productivity grass provides a kind of cline-extending 
> buffer
> between forest areas and desert, between humid and arid
> environments. <snip>
>      Now, we can't know how this played out in the Gobi, but one
> thing is for sure, the productivity of the vegetation was
> critical influence.  And, inasmuch as the grasses provide a
> hideaway and a food base for the ostrich, they also provide a
> margin for preventing the extinction of this reproductive
> anomaly--a large, egg-laying non-flying avian dinosaur.  Maybe
> similar creatures in the Gobi would have survived if they had
> this resource.

nope. not EVER having this resource is good enough for me.  They evolved
without it's presence-they survived 200 million years without it's
presence-they died without it's presence.  

They also had no access to chocolate and that's as good a reason to go
extinct as any you're proposing here.
           Betty Cunningham  
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