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Re: (origin of the palaeognathous palate)



At 02:09 PM 9/12/2004, John Bois wrote:
Well, if man destroyed Mihirungs--which seems likely--why didn't he
destroy emus.  And an unacceptable answer would be: there were too many to
eat.

First, according to "Magnificent Mihirungs" it seems highly unlikely that gastornithids and dromornithids were, in fact, predators (See chapter 12). The authors also attribute the extinction of mihirungs, at least in part, to the drying of the continent and to aboriginal fires, which eliminated forst-living browsers like the mihirungs and favoured grassland birds like emus.


Also, remember that humans DID wipe out the emu species on Kangaroo and King Islands, ase well as the population on Tasmania (in fact, the latter happened twice, as birds were reintroduced and then wipied out again).


--
Ronald I. Orenstein Phone: (905) 820-7886
International Wildlife Coalition Fax/Modem: (905) 569-0116
1825 Shady Creek Court
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada L5L 3W2 mailto:ron.orenstein@rogers.com