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Re: Why did small dinos become extinct?



Can anyone supply references to peer-reviewed articles that discusss the possibility that small non-flying predatory dinos were squeezed out by lizards & snakes and / or birds and / or mammals and / or juveniles of larger dino predators?

Except for the latter possibility, I don't think any such papers exist.

On the other hands there's meagre but apparently growing evidence of
small Maastrichtian non-flying theropods. Tim Williams says
Richardoestesia was a small Maastrichtian non-flying theropod.

Was it smaller than *Dromaeosaurus*, the smallest flightless dinosaur in the Hell Creek Fm (1.8 m long)?


http://www.dinodata.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=689&Itemid=25
reports diverse small theropods and no large ones from the Hateg Basin
(latest Maastrichtian, Roumania).

Most or all of those were AFAIK at least 1.8 m long, too.

The bottom line at present appears to be that there's evidence of small
Maastrichtian non-flying theropods but it's hard to pin down when they
became extinct because at present the Hell Creek formation is the only
terrestrial fossil bed that includes the K-T boundary.

There is one in India, too, but it's less well researched and apparently less fossil-rich...


Does this mean I have to conclude that at present we don't have enough
info to say much about how and when small non-flying predatory dinos
became extinct?

Yes and no. We can still apply the principle of parsimony to conclude that they -- the 1.8-m-long and longer ones -- most likely died out in the mass extinction; especially considering the fact that all their likely prey suffered heavily in the mass extinction, too.


If anyone has said this in a peer-reviewed publication,
could someone please provide a reference.

It's unlikely anyone has said anything specifically on small flightless predatory dinosaurs.