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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 


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