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RE: Question from a Dilettante about Avian dinosaurs surviving K-Pg boundary
No sweat I, for one, love to help non - experts learn more about the scientific
issues you mention.
The problem is that nonavian dinosaurs were not all big. In the last few years
we have found extremely small dinosaur fossils, and members of many non-avian
dinosaurs completely overlap with bird sin body size and mass. many were also
feathered, and many were common. Why would a tiny troodontid go extinct but not
Also the climate of the early Paleocene was not necessarily different from the
end Cretaceous. Maybe there was a short term climate disaster right at the K/T
event, but there had been partial glaciations earlier in the "age of the
dinosaurs", and crocodiles lived in the Arctic Circle in the Eocene.
From: owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu [owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu] on behalf of Box, Rick
Sent: Monday, September 16, 2013 11:32 AM
Subject: Question from a Dilettante about Avian dinosaurs surviving K-Pg
Not a professional.
Are there theories that have gained currency about why birds survived the
event(s) that killed off all the other dinosaurs, and the pterosaurs, and
other things the ignorant masses call 'dinosaurs'?
It seems to me that while Cretaceous dinosaurs were probably warm-blooded,
they probably maintained body temperature just by being big. They didn't do
it through feathered insulation or needing to work the heart and muscles
simply for the sake of heat. That method of maintaining body temp works
well for whatever particular climate, but when the climate changes
drastically, they'd be just as vulnerable as cold-blooded reptiles.
On the other hand, small *heavily *feathered versions of dinosaurs could
insulate, or dissipate heat by changing the feathers around, and probably
had a quicker heart rate anyhow.
Is there anything to that?