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Re: New Cretaceous bird and other papers

I have to agree with Nick. There is no evidence that neornitheans would have been able to globally outcompete enaniornitheans into extinction. The mass extinction at K-T was a "blessing in disguise" (in the long term) for mammals and neornitheans.
As for the "apples and oranges" argument, it would only be so for strong fliers that don't mind flying over large bodies of water. Many bird groups have trouble doing so, and biogeographic patterns are therefore discernible among many birds and mammals (including bats). Thus Nick's comparison seems fair to me if it isn't carried too far.
------ Cheers, Ken
From: John Bois <jbois@umd5.umd.edu>
Subject: Re: New Cretaceous bird and other papers
Date: Mon, 18 Feb 2002 14:27:42

Bois wrote:
> > You are saying (I think) that neornithines outcompeted enantiornithines in the Antarctic and (presumably) other parts of Gondwana. The "event", then, just greased the wheels for neos,
> > facilitating their inevitable global domination a little earlier.=20

Pharris wrote:
 > That's a fairly egregious _non sequitur_.  In the absence of a K-T
event, it might well have been that "enantiornithines" (whatever those
end up being)  would have dominated the north and neornithines the south,
right up to the present day--much like marsupials and placentals.  We'll
never know.

In terms of abilty to disperse, mammals are wingless apples to birds
volant oranges.  Not a fair comparison, I mean.  I thought we had been
through this before and decided birds were much more likely to be able to
migrate global distances--this makes it less of a _non sequitur_ anyway.

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