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Re: emu invasion
John Bois wrote:
> Indeed, any ratite trying to make a
> go of it in the Texas of prehistoric times would apply for
> instant repatriation back to Oz when it took one look at a dire
> wolf or an American lion. However, just as in Australia where emus thrive
> inside a vast fence designed to keep the bloody dingoes out, they may make
> it in Texas thanks to aggressive predator extirpation.
The ratites of prehistoric Australia may certainly have had an easier time than
their North American cousins. That doesn't mean they got a free ride. Your
repatriated emu might have been faced by locals like _Thylacoleo_, which was no
slouch when it came to predation. (Check out the papers by Wroe & McHenry on
_Thylacoleo_ biomechanics and bite force, for example.) Although one fact in
the emu's favor is that _Thylacoleo_ appears not to have been all that quick on
its feet, giving the emu an advantage in open terrain.
There was also the thylacinids, which once inhabited mainland Australia -
especially _Thylacinus potens_, the larger, stronger relative of the recently
extinct _T. cynocephalus_.
There's also the possibility that emus faced a challenge closer to home
(phylogenetically speaking) from the dromornithids, if (and this is a big *if*)
these "demon ducks of doom" (!) were predators.