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Re: If the asteroid had missed...



Dinosaurs are still here...they are just no longer competitive in the large 
animal niche.  Predatory tactics of birds, mammals, and reptiles are probably 
prohibitive for any animal whose nest is dependent upon defending a nest in the 
open field (crocs having the advantage of ambushing a nest predator _and_ 
seeing very well at night...a luxury probably not afforded most dinosaurs).






From: "Richard W. Travsky" <rtravsky@uwyo.edu>
Date: 2007/03/13 Tue PM 10:59:25 CDT
To: dinosaur@usc.edu
Subject: If the asteroid had missed...


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6444811.stm

The extinction of the dinosaurs was most probably caused by an asteroid 
hitting the Earth - but what would have happened if the giant space rock 
had missed?
...
"They were the superlatives; they were the biggest, the heaviest, the 
meanest, the longest. You name it, dinosaurs were it," says fellow 
palaeontologist Phil Currie, from the University of Alberta in Canada, who 
has access to one of the richest areas of dinosaur research in the world.

"The badlands of Alberta clearly show that at the end of the Cretaceous, 
dinosaurs were extremely successful still," says Professor Currie, who 
points to dozens of different dinosaur species living in that one 
environment at the same time.
...
Had the asteroid missed, he believes, dinosaurs would have continued to 
dominate.

"We wouldn't have the modern animals that we're used to. Giraffes and 
elephants and so on; they just wouldn't have evolved because dinosaurs 
would still be here," says Professor Currie.
...