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Re: attack on dinosaur--horrific video

----- Original Message -----
From: "don ohmes" <d_ohmes@yahoo.com>
Sent: Sunday, November 25, 2007 8:16 PM

On the extinction side, it is definitely interesting to speculate that since rodents probably first appeared near K/Pg, basal rodents may have found that incisors were the ideal tool for breaching eggs, and dinos (at least some species) may have found the combination of small size and prolificity overwhelming. I don't see it rising to best-fit cartoon status, though, much less falsifiable hypothesis, especially in the (apparent) absence of rodent-gnawed eggshell.

Well, firstly, the rodent-lagomorph split has a nice fossil record in the Paleocene of Asia, so that I don't see any reason to assume Cretaceous rodents. Secondly, you could make the same argument about the multituberculates, which had been around since the Late Jurassic, if not the haramiyids and the tritylodontids, which are as old as the dinosaurs.

Clarification sidebar -- I don't use "cartoon" here as a derogatory term. I try to use it instead of "scenario" in my own musings to make it clear that I am NOT advancing a formal hypothesis. In other words, to make it clear that I am [NOT] claiming (at that point) testability. Nor do I (obviously) agree w/ the "rule" that testable hypotheses, or observations leading thereto, are the only items fit for scientific discussion in the realm of 'biospheric history'. In the absence of a testable hypothesis, cartoons must be ranked by parsimony (due to the fact mutation/selection is the under-lying null), and the most parsimonious receives "best-fit" status. [...]

Just call it a speculation, then. http://www.dinosauria.com/jdp/evol/evolfact.htm

(Rest of thirteen-kilobyte post snipped.)