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Re: T.rex and elephants
Jonathon Woolf wrote:
> MHO is "sometimes one, sometimes the other, and sometimes a mixture of
> both." I doubt that giraffes would have evolved that long neck if they
> weren't high browsers to start with, and I doubt that bison would have
> developed the permanent downward arch to the neck if they weren't
> grazers to start with. OTOH, I also doubt that you could make a high
> browser out of a rhino or a hippo.
> -- JSW
Let's not forget that Ungulates are the most widespread and diverse
Mammal group. They've spread over every continent and even into the
oceans (it is widely held that whales, dolphins, manatees, etc. are
related to ungulates). They have covered every possible ecological niche;
from tree dwelling animals with platigrade feet (chriacus), to rhinos,
giraffes, elephants, horses, camels, tapirs, swine, deer, cattle, it just
goes on and on. Some may have even been carnivorous if not omnivorous,
What was my point? Oh yeah!
Since these animals are so widespread and diverse, it seems likely that
various adaptations may have occurred from various different stimuli.
Indricotherium was apparently a high browsing rhino and had some features
that seem giraffe-like. However, giraffes are more closely related to low
browsing deer and elk than rhinoceros' so it seems like a case of
convergent evolution within the ungulate clade.
P.S. Thanks to Dan Pigdon for reminding me about Indricotherium.