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Why did *birds* survive K/T?
In line with the recent work on dinosaur respiration, it occurred to me that
one reason why dinosaurs in general suffered so badly in the K/T event might
have something to do with the reason why birds now are so sensitive to
particulates in air (canaries in coalmines); because they shared an efficient
one-way respiration system that extracted the most oxygen it could, but thereby
made them equally vulnerable to pollutants. That raises the issue of why birds
themselves would survive an atmosphere rich in toxic gases and particulates
after the bolide hit. Can anyone help me here? Could it have something to do
with bird distribution (say, being in the Gondwana region as far from the
impact site as possible)?
"Were all men philosophers, the business of life could not be executed, and
neither society, nor even the species, could long exist." William Smellie, 1791
Species: A history of the idea http://www.ucpress.edu/books/pages/11391.php