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




James R. Cunningham wrote:

> At the time, all known volant birds were primarily flappers -- they don't
> appear to have developed widespread soaring till after the K/T.  On the other
> hand, pterosaurs were primarily soarers with limited continuous flapping
> ability.  Conditions immediately after the K/T event (the impact) could be
> expected to have made conditions unsuitable for soaring for a substantial
> period of time.  Long enough to starve most if not all surviving pterosaurs.
> Personally, I think this is most likely what did in the pterosaurs.  And what
> opened the niche for large, soaring birds.  More below.
>
> John Bois wrote:
>
> > OK.  Then why didn't other flying creatures make it?  This question
> > becomes more relevant as more neornithine species are found, because we
> > are eliminating Feduccia's lucky survivors hypothesis.
> >
> > (per Pennycuick, the hyenas
> > keep an eye on vultures and follow when they see the latter converging in
> > the air or descending).Jim
> >
> > Cool!
>
> Indeed so.  The birds appear to be just enough faster to give them a few
> minutes on the new-found carcass mostly undisturbed by anything but other
> birds.