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RE: Body Size Evolution in Mesozoic Birds



> In contrast, a
> decrease in body size characterizes the most
> crownward lineage Ornithuromorpha, the clade that
> includes all extant taxa, and potentially may
> explain the survival of these birds across the
> Cretaceous-Palaeogene boundary.

It's probably a bit risky to go as far as long as
nothing more is known of the affiliations of
_Gargantuavis_ as well as the diversity of non-avian
predatory dinos on Campanian Iberia and its
surroundings. If the largest known Mesozoic avian
*was* ornithuromorph and *did* evolve in the presence
of non-avian competitors/predators, this is probably
to crass a case to simply dismiss as an exception to
the rule. If only the vineyards of the Languedoc would
care to spit out a well-preserved piece of a
tarsometatarsus perhaps 50 cm long, one could say
more. To paraphrase "Dogma": 'giant flightless birds
don't just fall outta the sky, you know!'


Regards,

Eike


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