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Re: Triassic protofeathers and fake-heads

It seems to me that there is a clear trend among land vertebrates. Amphibians have pretty primitive brains and are pretty slow except for their tongues. Reptiles were more advanced in many ways, but it wasn't until the Mesozoic that the endothermy thing really kicked in. Had some pretty brainy and fast dinosaurs, but that unfortunately didn't help them survive the K-T extinction. Birds and mammals with their endothermy had a running start when the Cenozoic began, but they certainly weren't as brainy and coordinated in the Paleocene or Eocene as are modern carnivores or their fast-running prey. So I guess I would have to say that I do believe there is a trend toward increasing speed and intelligence in the history of predators and their prey.
The struggle for survival is a stress that inherently results in improvements (I'm trying to avoid the word "progress"). Not too many decades ago, even Olympic ice skaters were just doing double jumps. Now the women *must* do triples and the men must do *quads* to compete.
------ Ken
From: "Patrick Norton" <ptnorton@msn.com>
To: "kinman" <kinman@hotmail.com>, "dinosaur_1" <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Subject: Re: Triassic protofeathers and fake-heads
Date: Tue, 19 Feb 2002 19:52:10 -0500

>Just as early Tertiary mammals were slower (physically and mentally) than modern mammals, the early dinosaurs were probably relatively clumsy and dim-witted.<

Even if you could establish the former, the latter doesn't necessarily follow unless you believe in some inherent direction in evolution towards faster, more coordinated (?) and smarter creatures.


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