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Question: Write a scenario where small forms of troodontid or dromaeosaur dinosaurs (both of which were feathered and couldn't pronate their wrists) had survived the KPG extinction event around 66 million years ago and continued to evolve alongside mammals.
Scenario: Right after the KPG extinction event, the Earth was a harsh and desperate place. Amidst this struggle to survive, a few small forms of troodontid and dromaeosaur dinosaurs managed to cling to existence. Their size - small enough to hide in dense forests for protection and not large enough to require the vast amounts of food their larger relatives did - was a critical factor in their survival. In these early times, their developed plumage played a central role in survival. Not only did it thermally insulate against harsh climatic conditions, but their fascinating surviving dinos also utilized these feathers for mating displays, camouflage, and signaling, adding to their evolutionary advantage. The inability of troodontid and dromaeosaur dinosaurs to pronate their wrists forced them to adapt in novel ways. They became adept climbers, clinging on to tree trunks and branches in a way similar to squirrels or koalas, using their clawed toes and tails for balance and grip, and their beaks to peck and tear at food rather than manipulate it with forelimbs. Over millions of years, they continued to evolve alongside mammals. Their sharp senses of sight and sound, as well as their social tendencies, allowed them to plot their evolutionary path. The competition for resources with mammals forced these dinosaurs to become smarter and more adaptable. Over time, various species of these dinosaurs ventured out of the forests, venturing into different biomes and adopting novel survival strategies. Some troodontids and dromaeosaurs took to the skies, becoming highly specialized avian species. Some of them turned nocturnal, evolving to thrive under the moon's glow, while others adapted to underwater lifestyles, becoming the earth's first marine dinosaurs. The continuous interaction and competition with mammals and other animals helped shape the characteristics and behavior of these feathered survivors, resulting in a variety of new species. Today, we would find small troodontid and dromaeosaur dinosaurs thriving alongside mammals in dense forests, open plains, and even our oceans in this alternate history scenario.
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