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Re: Vegavis gen. nov. - new anseriform in today's Nature




John Bois wrote:

> On Wed, 19 Jan 2005, David Marjanovic wrote:
> "Extreme version"????  What else should you expect from the extreme
> version of extinctions around the K/T?
>
> Birds should have been affected as badly as non-avian dinosaurs.  The more
> species we find that are ancestral to extant species, the less support
> there is for an instantaneous, all-encompassing catastrophe.

Not quite as badly.  Birds should able to cover more ground per unit time in 
their
search for food, which would give them a distinct survival advantage over other
dinosaurs during a time of food scarcity or other environmental stress.  For
example, you've got a better chance of outflying a forest fire than you do of
outrunning it, and African vultures are known to use their additional speed to 
get
to carcasses a few minutes before hyenas (per Pennycuick, the hyenas keep an eye
on vultures and follow when they see the latter converging in the air or
descending).Jim