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Re: FYI -- Ratite ancestors and independent loss of volancy...



David Marjanovic <david.marjanovic@gmx.at> wrote:


> >  <http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100126105429.htm>
> 
> And even more interestingly, this article contains a link
> to the paper, 
> which is free!


"We propose that large size and cursoriality and
consequently loss of flight were selected for among
Early Tertiary ancestors of modern ratites in filling
parts of the ecospace vacated upon the K/T boundary
extinction of midâlarge-sized terrestrial vertebrates,
including dinosaurs."


If this scenario is true, it might also explain the rise of other large-bodied, 
flightless birds in the early Cenozoic.  These include the dromornithids and 
gastornithids (diatrymids), with both evolving independently from volant 
anseriforms; and obscure taxa such as _Eremopezus_ (probably neither 
palaeognath or galloanseran).


Cheers

Tim