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Genyornis: why not the bloody dingoes?
Thanks to Betty C. for her telling us about CNN/Science Oz extinctions.
I know I should wait until reading the actual report--but it's snowing
outside and there's no work today and...
Researchers have apparently attributed extinctions of Genyornis to humans
burning their food vegetation and otherwise disrupting their niche.
But why not predation by early aboriginals and, indeed, their dogs, the
dingoes. Emu distribution is today apparently limited by dingoes
(Caughley-ref. if needed). These birds are brilliant at tolerating arid
places. Maybe this is why they survived and Genyornis did not. They
could hide where the predators could get to them. Bertrand notes this as
the edge ostriches have over those that would plunder their nests.
Fires in Africa have a devastating effect on ostriches. Why? Because
their nests become immediately visible to predators. Perhaps this applied
to Genyornis. So I will be interested to see if in their explanation the
researchers considered these viable alternate hypotheses.