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Re: Why did small dinos become extinct?

On Fri, 23 Nov 2007, David Marjanovic wrote:

We now know of burrowing dinos (Oryctodromeus and possibly Orodromeus). Admittedly Oryctodromeus was vegetarian and Orodromeus was a close relative, so both were doomed under the standard explanation. But why were there no burrowing small predatory dinos in the latest Cretaceous or, if there were, why did they perish?

As far as we currently know, there were no burrowing predatory dinosaurs ever.

Recently reported:


Paleontologists have unearthed an ancient, sediment-filled burrow that holds remains of the creatures that dug it. The find is the first indisputable evidence that some dinosaurs maintained an underground lifestyle for at least part of their lives.

While scouring 95-million-year-old strata in southwestern Montana, paleontologist David J. Varricchio of Montana State University in Bozeman and his colleagues stumbled upon an unusual patch of sandstone protruding from the rock that surrounded it. Soon after they began to excavate the sandstone, they found a compact mass of small bones. After teasing apart the tangle, they discovered that the remains represented an adult and two juvenile dinosaurs of a completely new species.
"All the pieces are there" to support the burrowing interpretation, says Paul Sereno, a paleontologist at the University of Chicago.