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Re: how to surive and prosper after Armageddon
At 05:46 PM 11/18/99 -0800, dbensen wrote:
>Fundamentaly, the only land animals that survived the extinction (most
>extinctions, for that matter) were the small creatures. Insects, crocodiles,
>lizards, birds, turtles, worms, and mammals, etc. were all groups of animals
>that held a large number of small species in them at the end of the
>Cretaceous. (non-avian) Dinosaurs and pterosaurs had no small members and so
>died out. Many small animals are insectavores (or insects themselves) and
>many burrow so there are some links there, but it all boils down to this:
>size does matter.
I agree this is one of the best correlations with survival. I believe I
have pointed it out myself on a few occasions.
However, even this is not quite a perfect fit. Champsosaurs survived, and
as far as I know there are no know *small* champsosaurs. Also, at least
one large-sized crocodilian survived the extinction.
So, it is true that large tetrapods and tropical plankton were particularly
badly hit, and small tetrapods and polar plankton tended to fare much
better. But neither pattern is a hard and fast rule, just a tendency.
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