[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

Re: How Did Hadrosaurs Survive?

From: John Conway <john_conway@mac.com>
Reply-To: john_conway@mac.com
To: dinosaur@usc.edu
Subject: Re: How Did Hadrosaurs Survive?
Date: Tue, 29 Oct 2002 22:54:35 +1100

On Tuesday, October 29, 2002, at 10:26 PM, Tim Donovan wrote:

Newly introducd predators have devastated some ecosystems. The brown tree snake wiped out nearly all of the native birds on Guam. New species, including predators, are said to evolve in isolation, then spread. Essentially there may be little difference between the effects of a newly evolved predator and a newly introduced one. The advent of Tyrannosaurus apparently resulted in the extinction of various Edmontonian taxa least able to fight it or evade it e.g. Euoplocephalus, which was replaced by a larger Lancian defender.

There is a BIG difference between the effects of a "newly evolved" predator and a newly introduced one. Evolution of a predator gives time for an evolutionary response from prey. Predators do not evolve in a vacuum. For this reason I take exception to the line "advent of Tyrannosaurus", as if Tyrannosaurus just "arrived". Tyrannosaurus evolved alongside hadrosaurids, and hadrosaurids with it - show me the fauna with tyrannosaurids but no hadrosaurids.

As I wrote earlier, Tyrannosaurus probably evolved in far inland environments given the lack of any close relative in the ornithiscian dominated lowlands all the way to mid Maastrichtian. Starkov was probably right: Tyrannosaurus originally appeared in response to Alamosaurus in a considerably different environment. Its appearance in the lowlands was probably abrupt, since only about 1 Ma or so separates the upper Edmontonian from the Lancian epochs. It is possible, even likely, that most ornithiscians were "taken by surprise" by the spread of Tyrannosaurus to the lowlands. Indeed diversity waned around this time, when defensive escalation occurred.

Euoplocephalus was one of the LEAST able to defend itself?! What possible reason could there be for thinking so?

Euoplocephalus was adapted to the smaller Albertosaurus and failed to survive alongside T. rex. The replacement of Euolocephalus with the consideraby larger Ankylosaurus, which evolved some extra armor lacking in Euoplocephalus, certainly argues that the latter represented an inadaquate defense when Tyrannosaurus appeared.

John Conway, Palaeoartist

"Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes." - Walt Whitman

Systematic ramblings: http://homepage.mac.com/john_conway/
Palaeoart: http://homepage.mac.com/john_conway/_palaeoart.html
Skeletals: http://homepage.mac.com/john_conway/_skeletals/

Surf the Web without missing calls! Get MSN Broadband. http://resourcecenter.msn.com/access/plans/freeactivation.asp