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Re: snake/spider venom

--- MICHAEL HABIB <habib@jhmi.edu> wrote:

> Just a couple of quick notes that may be of help
> *Snakes appeared quite late in the Mesozoic, and the major radiations of
> snakes occurred after the K/T.  Thus, there were very few snakes that
> overlapped in time with dinosaurs.  Additionally, even small dinosaurs would
> be far too large (birds obviously excluded) for all but a giant constrictor
> to consume.  Snakes were probably primarily small mammal/bird predators
> historically, just as they are today (with plenty of lizard and frog eating
> exceptions, of course).

People commonly fall into the error of thinking of an animal as being its adult
size. No dinosaur hatched from an egg bigger than a junior-sized soccer ball.
The smaller ones, even if too big to be snake food as adults, would have
hatched at even smaller sizes.

Of course, small mammals, lizards, etc. wouldn't have a huge parent watching
out for them, so that could be a factor....

> *Venomous snakes appeared even later, and the ancestral food for the venomous
> groups was probably small mammals/birds/lizards as well.  It certainly was
> not non-avian dinosaurs, since the major venomous groups of snakes appeared
> well after the K/T (to the best of my knowledge).


=====> T. Michael Keesey <http://dino.lm.com/contact>
=====> The Dinosauricon <http://dinosauricon.com>
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