Continuing the discussion from Cop bravely attempts to stop mother from breastfeeding her baby, but I thought I might make it a thread where we can all put science stuff as it comes up.
Agreed. Something I came across and found interesting were some more detailed attempts to explain what groups survived the extinction, beyond possibly just being luck.
Size definitely doesn’t seem to have helped. But there were still lots of tiny dinosaurs that died out; the main birds of the time were Enantiornithes, which have teeth and claws but otherwise look a lot like modern birds, and none made it. Meanwhile some other lineages like crocodilians were relatively unscathed.
One idea is explained in Robertson et al. 2004, 2013, and so on (pdfs where I could find them). In essence for a genuinely fast catastrophe, an asteroid causing shocks and fires all over the world, the critical thing would be escaping the initial burning. Burrowing animals like mammals, and semi-aquatic animals like crocodilians and shorebirds, might be spared; even smaller animals that live in more open land would not.
That doesn’t touch marine extinctions, which must be supposed to be from other effects. It looks other biologists have paid attention but of course not without controversy. I would be happy to hear some other opinions here, if it’s something that might make sense, seems unlikely compared to other causes, or just seems like making up patterns from random chance.
Mammals huddle while dinosaurs burn: reason or madness?