Discussion of everything related to the Theory of Evolution.

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Post by Mumoki » Wed Sep 13, 2006 8:53 am

I have always wondered. We have all these eras and ages in which a particular group of animals was dominant but we do not have a time when birds dominated the earth and by dominated I mean lived in very large numbers and were the major animals. Thinking about it I came up with reasons such as:

:arrow: Birds have very light bones which may not feature very well when it comes to fossilisation
:arrow: Birds came from a time when reptiles were dominant including dinos. They could have been a delicacy for the reptiles.
:arrow: Birds live in an environment that had not been colonised by any other animal, the air. They would have thus needed extra time to adapt.

I expected the domination of the birds to come before the domination of Mammals.
What say you? :D

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Post by alextemplet » Wed Sep 13, 2006 2:28 pm

If there was any time when birds dominated the earth, it would be right after the extinction of the dinosaurs, before mammal evolution really picked up. Around 50 million years ago, mammals were still mostly small, but some birds (called terror birds) had evolved to become large and powerful apex predators that preyed on the mammals of the time.
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Post by David George » Thu Sep 14, 2006 7:28 am

The Quaternary Era is often considered the golden age of Birds
"Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution"
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Post by mahargynot » Mon Sep 18, 2006 1:11 pm

Of course, most of us are completely vertebrate-centred. It is, as it always has been, the Age of Bacteria. If you want to be more animal-centred, it's the Age of Insects. We seem to have this inbuilt prejudice that it must have been the Age of whatever type of animal has a load of big, scary predators.
Of course, this could be the Age of Grasses!

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New Zealand

Post by Norppa » Mon Sep 18, 2006 10:19 pm

Flightless birds were the major predators in New Zealand before humans arrived there. There were no land mammals in New Zealand, save for three species of bats, until 1000 years ago. So, if they have not had an era to dominate, they at least had an island, for a time.

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