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Re: [dinosaur] How Some Birds Survived When All Other Dinosaurs Died



Maybe the survival or Neornithes was simple a case of bottleneck extinction, so it was mostly due to luck? This compared to enantiornithes for example. Possibly there were more neornithine clades in the Late Cretaceous and they were wiped out too. The survival of the current lineages was just a case that only few populations can survive and luckily it happened that all the neornithine clades we had in the Danian.

Flight can give a huge advantage when you're small and need to find food over long spans of territory. I think this was a huge card in extinction scenarios. All pterosaurs in the Maastrichtian were sort of big, no?

On Thu, May 26, 2016 at 3:13 PM, Richard W. Travsky <rtravsky@uwyo.edu> wrote:
> A new commentary article:
>
> Stephen L. Brusatte (2016)
>
> Evolution: How Some Birds Survived When All Other Dinosaurs Died.
>
> Current Biology 26(10): pR415–R417,
>
> DOI: https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__dx.doi.org_10.1016_j.cub.2016.03.043&d=DQIDaQ&c=clK7kQUTWtAVEOVIgvi0NU5BOUHhpN0H8p7CSfnc_gI&r=JMxjjbIZXCWilersPs1bzRx-3mUwTiQUzlyzWk7v7k4&m=-sLjMSpUSnnzh2eNpQMbfpo4v7OwFwKi6qhAMDWpdCQ&s=WdEZ5X3w5EpT8WsT05GmBBW7Ex3Qdob7gf_ZbGMx7lE&e= > <https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__dx.doi.org_10.1016_j.cub.2016.03.043&d=DQMFaQ&c=clK7kQUTWtAVEOVIgvi0NU5BOUHhpN0H8p7CSfnc_gI&r=Ry_mO4IFaUmGof_Yl9MyZgecRCKHn5g4z1CYJgFW9SI&m=dUVwLUAqchx_1YgUq9KsFvSs1uqD47kfbpaGKBYEwtw&s=tNPwPggrKJ-8_RM3u8q6wFtxztxNuNEBrexHSxJyZME&e=>
> |
>
> https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.cell.com_current-2Dbiology_fulltext_S0960-2D9822-2816-2930253-2D6&d=DQIDaQ&c=clK7kQUTWtAVEOVIgvi0NU5BOUHhpN0H8p7CSfnc_gI&r=JMxjjbIZXCWilersPs1bzRx-3mUwTiQUzlyzWk7v7k4&m=-sLjMSpUSnnzh2eNpQMbfpo4v7OwFwKi6qhAMDWpdCQ&s=ekGO9yXUSLTp9jL2k44fmnakiqPp8DaiOrFmz9Fczyw&e= > <https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.cell.com_current-2Dbiology_fulltext_S0960-2D9822-2816-2930253-2D6&d=DQMFaQ&c=clK7kQUTWtAVEOVIgvi0NU5BOUHhpN0H8p7CSfnc_gI&r=Ry_mO4IFaUmGof_Yl9MyZgecRCKHn5g4z1CYJgFW9SI&m=dUVwLUAqchx_1YgUq9KsFvSs1uqD47kfbpaGKBYEwtw&s=02oHVYFepwR2UNiLs9JPDgcyEfsfj3CT-qofFjvWJJs&e=>
>
>
> The end-Cretaceous mass extinction wiped out the dinosaurs, including
> many birds. But some bird lineages survived. May seed-eating have been
> the key?


Approaching this as a layman type, a couple things come to mind...

Relying on seeds for possibly decades in a devastated landscape means
that's a LOT of seeds for breeding bird populations to survive on.

We presently have beaked birds that are also predators/carnivores.
Curious, did these not exist back then? If nothing else they could
have preyed on other birds.

The paper says "terrestrial food webs that relied on photosynthesis
would have collapsed". I understand that plant communities also took
a big hit, but surely there would have been areas where that was
(very) less severe. It would almost seem then that things for birds
would not have changed much.

It doesn't seem that the comparision with modern times habitat recovery

from fires might not scale up to something global.