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

At 03:51 PM 1/25/2005, Dann Pigdon wrote:
And yet emus are more abundant than ever.

Not, though, the insular populations on Tasmania, Kangaroo and King islands, which were exterminated (twice, in the case of Tasmania, after re-introduction!).

Emu eggs are also predated by the Black-breasted Kite (Hamirostra melanosternon), which drops rocks or other objects on them while in flight.

As far as dromornithids were concerned, they had megalanids and
thylacoleos to contend with (the latter could be larger than a leopard),
and who knows how many diprotodontid species weren't afraid to raid the
occasional nest for added nutrients - expecially given the low quality
of Australian soils in general.

And Sebecid crocodiles, and perhaps predatory kangaroos. Of course the largest dromornithids vanished well before the arrival of humans.

Ronald Orenstein
1825 Shady Creek Court
Mississauga, ON L5L 3W2
905-569-0116 fax