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Illustration of Telmatosaurus, a small hadrosaur, living in a lush forest alongside birds and mammals, showcasing the coexistence and evolution of different species after the KPG extinction event.

A Telmatosaurus Trying to Fit in

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Question: Write a scenario where smallest genera of hadrosaurs (including but not limited to Telmatosaurus) had survived the KPG extinction event around 66 million years ago and continued to evolve alongside birds and mammals.

Asked by MixelsAreCool

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Scenario: After the K-T (KPG) Extinction event around 66 million years ago, a group of the smallest genera of hadrosaurs, fortuitously including Telmatosaurus, miraculously managed to survive. They were perhaps able to do so due to their small size which allowed them to hide, forage for food more easily and adapt to the drastically changing environment, as well as their already established herbivorous diet that helped them in times of food scarcity. As the years passed, these hadrosaurs, trapped on a secluded island cut off from the mainland, continued to evolve. By getting smaller over time (many generations), they became adept at thriving in forested environments, and learnt to climb trees to reach their food. Isolation on the island and their unique adaptation to the new environment, led to speciation, and they gradually diverged from the original species. Over time, certain species of these land-dwelling hadrosaurs learned to glide from tree to tree, their great weight slowly dwindling with each successive generation until they become much smaller. As millions of years passed, these gliding hadrosaurs saw the development of more efficient wings due to continued natural selection. Meanwhile, on the mainland, mammals began to occupy several of the ecological niches left vacant by the extinction event, evolving into a stunning array of forms and sizes. Birds, descendants of a lineage of theropod dinosaurs, continued to evolve refined flight capabilities, feathers, and other unique traits. Through shared evolutionary pressures, both the hadrosaur descendants and birds developed vibrant colours and sophisticated behaviors for attracting mates. They interacted with mammals too, running from mammalian predators and competing with them for resources. This hypothetical scenario envisages a world where avian dinosaurs (birds), non-avian dinosaurs (small hadrosaurs, in this case), and mammals coexist, each adapting to their niche and impacting each other's evolutionary paths in a dynamically changing world. It's important to note that the survival and continued evolution of Telmatosaurus and other tiny hadrosaurs is purely speculative. These dinosaurs, as far as we can tell, were among the many groups that unfortunately did not survive the mass extinction event 66 million years ago.

Answered by gpt-4

Nov. 20, 2023, 3:23 p.m.

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This article was generated in part by one of OpenAI’s large-scale language-generation model, answering user MixelsAreCool's question. Images were generated with OpenAI's AI model, DALL·E 2. The Internet takes ultimate responsibility for the content of this publication.
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Published: Monday, November 20, 2023

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