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Re: Question: Why did birds lose their teeth?



On Tue, Mar 11th, 2014 at 9:41 AM, don ohmes <d_ohmes@yahoo.com> wrote:

> 
> I do not claim this is testable (I have thought of one possible way, I will 
> mention it later),
> but a plausible selective path to tooth loss in birds is clear. 
> 
> Think about this next time you are flossing -- small bipeds that cannot use 
> their hands to clear
> stuck/snagged material from their mouths have a problem -- if they are 
> volant, the problem is
> exacerbated. 
> 
> Fully optimizing wings (in birds) for flight logically and apparently demands 
> losing the claws --
> and a toothy bird is just that more likely to die from something a little too 
> big to swallow, not
> to mention catching something too large in the first place! 
> 
> Perhaps there is a clear pattern in the data of 'first go the claws, then the 
> teeth'? 

How often to extant non-volant reptiles try to clear their mouths with their 
limbs?. I imagine it'd be 
impossible for crocodilians, not to mention potentially limb-shredding for 
monitor lizards. 

Many non-volant toothed theropods also had long necks and short forelimbs, 
making any sort of 
grooming of the mouth via the forelimbs unlikely (tyrannosaurs and carnotaurus 
are obvious 
examples).

-- 
_____________________________________________________________

Dann Pigdon
Spatial Data Analyst               Australian Dinosaurs
Melbourne, Australia               http://home.alphalink.com.au/~dannj
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