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RE: The Croc That Wanted to Be a Dinosaur

At 1:05 PM -0500 1/27/06, Thomas R. Holtz, Jr. wrote:
>As I mentioned on Carl Zimmer's blog "The Loom", chatterjeeids are ostrich 
>mimic mimic mimics (using the normal [backwards]
>paleontological version of "mimicry"). Ratites -> ornithomimosaurs -> 
>_Elaphrosaurus_ -> chatterjeeids. (Okay, we don't have
>_Elaphrosaurus_'s skull, and chatterjeeids don't have particularly elongate 
>hindlimbs, so these two are foreshadows of
>ornithomimosaurs and ratites in different ways).

What I find fascinating is that the suchians and the true dinosaurs evolved in 
parallel with similar traits through the Triassic, much as the two lines of 
birds did in the Cretaceous, looking quite similar except for bones in the 
ankles and legs that distinguished them. There also are parallels in extinction 
patterns. The end-Triassic extinctions wiped out the dinosaur-like crocs; the 
end-Cretaceous extinction wiped out the enantiornithes. -- Jeff Hecht