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Re: Dinosaurs vs. mammals: a hypothetical scenario
Are deciduous trees delicious to a sauropod, especially leafless? Probably
some sort of migratory behavior would become necessary for any wormholes
that led to a temperate zone. How long does it take for a nonmigrator to
become a migrator?
Cunning egg-sucking vermin, some of them mammals. Makes me wonder how many
nonavian dinos would produce a next generation.
High Mountain Writers' House
----- Original Message -----
From: "Brian Lauret" <email@example.com>
To: "the list" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Thursday, April 07, 2011 11:38 AM
Subject: Dinosaurs vs. mammals: a hypothetical scenario
For those among us who are not particularly interested in untestable what-if
scenarios, this is probably a good topic to ignore. Its subject will be
completely hypothetical. To those who are interested in this, however, I
hope my question will be fun and interesting.
I wonder how non-avian dinosaurs would fare in Cenozoic, mammal-dominated
ecosystems, especially in one at its (of course subjective) prime with
reasonable stability and at its maximum number of niches. Because modern day
ecosystems are generally depleted compared to their prehistoric
counterparts, I'd like to take the late Miocene during which mammal
diversity in terms of species richness may have peaked or was very high at
the least, as our setting.
So I would want to take late Miocene ecosystems and let them be invaded by
late Cretaceous, say Campanian, dinosaurs, via some sort of wormhole or the
like that would allow Campanian dinosaurs from all over the world to invade
late Miocene ecosystems all over the world. So Campanian Australian
dinosaurs end up in late Miocene Australia, Campanian Asian dinosaurs end up
in late Miocene Asia and so on.
What I wonder is, would those dinosaurs be competitive in their new setting?
I personally suspect they might well be because of their fecundity, probably
efficient metabolism, ability to quickly consume large amounts of low
quality food and likely adaptability.
This, I think, would be especially true of the larger dinosaurs. I'm pretty
sure an adult titanosaur would be safe from even the largest, most powerful
late Miocene predators such as percrocutids or barbourofelids. The same
might apply to large ornithischians such as ankylosaurs and giant
hadrosaurs. Their size, strength, thick hide and weaponry would probably
make them (all but) immune to pesky mammalian Miocene carnivores.
I'd also think large theropods would become contenders for the title of
worst invasive exotic ever. Given the size and strength of an adult
tyrannosaur, it could probably easily hunt even the largest landliving
Probably, smaller dinosaurs versus mammals would be where things get more
interesting. For example, would a population of alvarezsaurs or a
leptoceratopsids survive in an ecosystem with boreophagines and sabertooth
cats? Would they prove competitive against pangolins or pigs? Would smaller
ornithopods be able to compete against horses or ruminants? Would
dromaeosaurs be able to compete with hyenas?
I'm very interested in your thoughts on what you think would happen in such
Thanks in advance,