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The great Extinction and its survivors


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#1    Sofia Alexandra

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Posted 21 January 2006 - 08:39 PM

Some 65 million years ago something happened that made the dinosaurs die out. Most evidence points to a disaster caused by a meteorite, but as we don't know 100% for sure I won't say more about it. It is not the topic of discussion in this thread anyway, only a somewhat important sidenote.

Anyway, something happened that wiped out the dinosaurs, but there's still life on this planet and birds evolved from dinosaurs. How did that happen? The answer is, not all life died out.
At the end of the dinosaur era there were small mammals running around, and when the big dinosaurs died the mammals survived by feeding on the carcasses. Same thing goes for the small dinosaurs/birds/inbetweens that were already around. And, when they suddenly found themself able to move about without the risk of being stepped on or eaten, the mammals could start to evolve, get bigger, and take over the planet. The birds took to the skies, which were now cleared of pterosaurs (and don't bring up the thunderbird legend here, it's neither the right forum nor the right thread).  
Various amphibians, fish (including sharks), reptiles and insects survived the Extinction as well. It was the big creatures that didn't make it.

So why am I posting this? Well I've seen people asking how birds can be the descendants of dinosaurs when the dinosaurs died out, as well as wondering how and why great big dinosaurs evolved into small twittering birds. It's strange how easy it seems to be to forget that there were small dinosaurs as well; some people seem to think that chickens are the direct decendants of Tyrannosaurus Rex...

Just my two cents.  original.gif

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#2    frogfish

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Posted 22 January 2006 - 02:38 AM

Yes, the smaller animals filled the voids left by larger animals that died out...their niches were empty. Its highly doubtful that T-rex evolved into a bird, but more like a small dromaeosaur, compsognathus, and other small dinos.

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#3    Kaizen

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Posted 22 January 2006 - 08:04 PM

But really, only one species of dinosaur could have evolved into modern birds.  And birds already existed during the dinosaur era.

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#4    Rahl

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Posted 22 January 2006 - 08:44 PM

whatever caused the dinosaurs to become extinct ..i dont see how it affected them only , whatever disaster befell them .. it would apply to almost all species wouldnt it ?, why would a proliferation of mammels exist after this meteor .. they would have the same chances (well less really) of dinosaurs to recover from such an event .

Edited by Rahl, 22 January 2006 - 08:54 PM.

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#5    frogfish

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Posted 22 January 2006 - 11:28 PM

Quote

But really, only one species of dinosaur could have evolved into modern birds.

No, more than one species of dino could evolved into birds...at some poin, they indeed shared a common ancestor, but that is most likely at the archosaurs...

Quote

And birds already existed during the dinosaur era.

So??? What does that have to do with it? They still evolved from dinosaurs/archosaurs...we evolved from primates, and they are still around...

Quote

whatever caused the dinosaurs to become extinct ..i dont see how it affected them only

I didn't, it killed of all Euryapsids ( marine reptiles) and all pterosaurs

Quote

whatever disaster befell them .. it would apply to almost all species wouldnt it ?,

No.

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why would a proliferation of mammels exist after this meteor

Because they filled the ecological void left by the dinosaurs

QUOTE
they would have the same chances (well less really) of dinosaurs to recover from such an event .

Why less? They would have a much better chance...They are smaller, they were more "mammalian" then dinosaurs...DInosaurs des ou because the "extinction event" wouldn't allow the ecosystem to harbor such large animals...after they died, the smaller animals (mammals, birds, snakes, other reptiles) took the place of the dinosaurs and other large reptiles.

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#6    Rahl

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 12:49 AM

ah ok, and there was i believing that our concept of dinosaurs all being 'big' was untrue. I was under the totally false impression that dinosaurs could be as small as chickens.



Edited by Rahl, 23 January 2006 - 01:01 AM.

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Out of the heart a rapture,
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#7    frogfish

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 01:27 AM

Ahh, you fail to see my point... I hope you see the space that dinosaurs take in a ecosystem, even ones a small as compsognathus, are much bigger than the space taken by mammals like Megazostrodon. Its not about physical size, but about how they fit into an ecosystem.

Next time, I advise you to learn about the subject you discuss, and not remark on topics/posts you clearly don't understand.

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#8    Kaizen

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 04:24 AM

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No, more than one species of dino could evolved into birds...at some poin, they indeed shared a common ancestor, but that is most likely at the archosaurs...


How?  Modern birds are all too similar with each other.  By your theory:  one species of dino evolved into perching birds.  Another species of dino evolved into ducks.  And another species of dino evolved into birds of prey.  That would require an insane amount of convergent evolution!  I think all modern birds decended from a single species of small theropod.

Quote

So??? What does that have to do with it? They still evolved from dinosaurs/archosaurs...we evolved from primates, and they are still around...


I was just pointing out that small dinosaurs DID NOT survive the the mass extintion.  They had already evolved into birds long before.  You always act as though I'm arguing with you.  Relax original.gif

Edited by Kaizen, 23 January 2006 - 04:51 AM.

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#9    Hehe

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 10:35 AM

Can someone please explain (with detail) how the process of evolution caused a dumbass (or smartass) Therapod (or whatever other dinosaur you might think) to take on flight. In other words, try to describe to me how a therapod figured out flight was "meant" for it and how the process of evolution provided the necesary parts (eg. wings, light bone structure, feathers, aerodynamicly shaped body etc.0

On the subject of flightless birds in todays world (chickens, ostriches, penguins etc.): did they "loose" their ability to fly or are they evolving to take on flight sometime in the future.
Can anyone think of an animal in todays world that is evolving in the direction to take on flight in the future? Maybe the flyingfish (family:Exocoetidae). Any other?

Do we know whether birds evolved before the great extinction (if so how did they survive) or after the great extinction (if so, from what?)

Thanx (Frogfish i know you are aking to answer it, as i think it is your niche to answer these little questions)

Edited by Hehe, 23 January 2006 - 10:46 AM.


#10    ShaunZero

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 01:29 PM

If a huge ass meteor big enough to whipe out all large dinosours hit the Earth, how did even the small dinos survive? THAT is a mystery. Even if you dug deap into the ground, I doubt that'd help. Talk about some major Earth Shattering going on.

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#11    Kaizen

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 09:13 PM

Quote


On the subject of flightless birds in todays world (chickens, ostriches, penguins etc.): did they "loose" their ability to fly or are they evolving to take on flight sometime in the future.


All of today's flightless birds evolved from birds that could fly.

Quote

Can anyone think of an animal in todays world that is evolving in the direction to take on flight in the future? Maybe the flyingfish (family:Exocoetidae). Any other?


The flyingfish?  Maybe.  But they have yet to evolve ways of surviving ouside water for extended periods of time.


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#12    frogfish

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 10:05 PM

No, no, you took misunderstood me...I meant that there were a couple species of dinos thet evolved inot birds...some might not of survived though...Sorry there, I misunderstood you.

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#13    Guardsman Bass

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 10:33 PM

Possibly the simplest explanation as for why dinosaurs completely disappeared after the end of the Mesozoic was that the large creatures (large being relative) died out in the mass ecosystem collapses, and the smaller creatures were either outcompeted by the new mammalian rivals, or were simply unlucky (it happens).

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#14    frogfish

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Posted 24 January 2006 - 01:01 AM

That what I have been saying in a nutshell...

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#15    Kaizen

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Posted 24 January 2006 - 03:09 AM

Ah, they evolved into evolutionary dead ends.  Ok, I see what you meant Frogfhish.   wink2.gif

Quote


Possibly the simplest explanation as for why dinosaurs completely disappeared after the end of the Mesozoic was that the large creatures (large being relative) died out in the mass ecosystem collapses, and the smaller creatures were either outcompeted by the new mammalian rivals, or were simply unlucky (it happens).


Yeah probably.  I think there was alot more to the dinosaur extinction than just a meteor impact.  There are alot of other theories out there and I think more than one of them could be right.

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