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Re: (origin of the palaeognathous palate)



On Sat, Sep 11, 2004 at 11:25:53PM -0400, John Bois scripsit:
> On Sun, 5 Sep 2004, David Marjanovic wrote:
> > It's easily imaginable that paleognaths, like rails, can more easily lose
> > flight than other bird clades. The details of embryonic development make
> > this possible; Feduccia's book has more about this. (But keep in mind that
> > there isn't just one ecological niche for flightless birds.)
> 
> So, a diverse group of volant palaeognaths with a propensity for dispersal
> like rails, geese.  If this is what happened, it is interesting to think
> about why ratites sustained their success in a flightless niche whereas
> "terror birds", "killer ducks", and Gastornis(?) could not.

Extant ratites are opportunistic omnivores.

It's not at all surprising that they're going to be more stable in
evolutionary time than apex carnivores, which will necessarily have an
order of magnitude less population at any particular time.

-- 
"But how powerful, how stimulating to the very faculty which produced
it, was the invention of the adjective: no spell or incantation in
Faerie is more potent." -- "On Fairy-Stories", J.R.R. Tolkien