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Re: Testing competitive exclusion in birds, bats and pterosaurs



Jim Cunningham wrote:

Birds developed the specializations for marine soaring flight within 5 million years of the demise of pterosaurs (different requirements from terrestrial soaring). I think a speculative case could be made that pterosaurs may have been excluding birds from this niche.

I agree with you on this point. The group you're referring to (Odontopterygiformes) were marine soarers in the Paleocene. Although there is indirect evidence that that this group may have been around in the later Cretaceous (see http://dml.cmnh.org/2006May/msg00247.html), there is no direct fossil evidence of any marine soaring birds at this time. Then again, we haven't yet discovered any odontopterygiforms at all from the Cretaceous, so we just don't know how early they became marine soarers.


Cheers

Tim

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