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Large last gasp of pterosaurs
> ...among pterosaurs, the survivor's trend was apparently
> toward larger fliers and those big animals would still be able to launch
> and fly today, were they here.
Definitely. Inability to fly is an unlikely cause of extinction. I'm
sure they were awesome fliers. If I were to guess at a cause I would say
much smaller predatory birds did them them in. The main idea here being
that they may have increased their range to now include very remote Q.
> Even the smaller type of Quetzalcoatlus
> is more robust and heavier than any modern flying bird. They seem to
> have been quite sucessful all the way to the end of the latest
Fantastic creatures, for sure. But I'm not sure why you want to isolate
Q. from the likely cause of extinction of most other pterosaurs. A pretty
good first order hypothesis is that were immune for a time because, like
modern albatrosses (for e.g.) they had extremely remote nesting places.
> Oh. I thought there were no known large flying birds at the end of the
> Cretaceous. The simplest explanation here is that perhaps it was due to
> pterosaurian competition. To imply that pterosaurs were out-competed by
> birds sounds like a vast, catastropic, generalization. :-)
Again, I don't think size was important (necessarily, at least).