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Re: Mammals preying on giant azhdarchid pterosaurs!




On Sun, 21 May 2000, Timothy Williams wrote:

> Rats eat croc eggs, so it's reasonable to assume that Mesozoic mammals did 
> too.  Why then did crocs survive the Mesozoic?

For the same reason they survive today.  I believe this is due to their
aquatic habit.  Firstly, wetlands are a refugium from mammals.  Second,
crocs probably enjoy habitat-specific advantages over animals not
specialized for this niche.  It is possible that predators of croc eggs
stand a better chance of being eaten themselves than predators of
terrestrial nests.
 
> Maybe I'm not reading your messages correctly, but are you saying that the 
> mammals went on a worldwide egg-eating spree in the late Maastrichtian which 
> caused the extinction of the dinosaurs?

We don't know when dinosaurs became extinct worldwide.  I am saying that
predatory guilds today appear to limit the distribution and evolution of
large egg laying mammals.  This is my hypothesis at least.  Another
hypothesis is that they have done this since the K/T.  If these are both
true, then this provides an inference for the K/T itself.