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Cobaltduckworlda has had somewhat of a similar biological past as earth, but not exactly. As examples, sentience has happened multiple times, and not just in primate-like species. Beasts that didn't survive our ice-age continue to roam the plains of cobaltduckworld. Mammals arose and eventually led to humans and dolphins and horses, but also elves and brocc. And oh, yeah, there are pterosaurs.

Once, there were velociraptors and iguanadons and many others as well. They went extinct some 10s of millions of years ago, but not the pterosaurs. Pterosaurs survive in the modern era, with dozens of species ranging in size from about equal to a duck to twice that of a condor.b

Maybe it was a meteor in a different form, or a continent-splitting geological upheaval, or a radical shift in climate. Everything that happened to the "dinosaurs" on earth happened on cobaltduckworld, except for the pterosaurs.

The challenge is to explain what this event was, and how its aftermath played out. Magic is allowed, but not encouraged.


a I really need to think of a proper name.

b I know I keep saying that modern literature needs more quetzalcoatlus, but I don't want my humans to get eaten.

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    $\begingroup$ Luck? Crocodilia are alive today, birds are thriving. Just reserve some nice place for some of them to survive your favourite extinction event, and the'll probably make it. $\endgroup$ – Karl Aug 28 '16 at 23:06
  • $\begingroup$ you need more small pterosaurs, only small or aquatic animals survived the extinction event, there were not many small pterosaurs at the time. $\endgroup$ – John Jan 26 at 4:50
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There're many species today that survive the Cretaceous extinction event, like crocodile, bird, mammal, fish and so on. We can look at them, learn their strategy, and apply that for your ptero.
Mostly, it's about eat less and eat everything.

  1. eat less
    Things like much smaller size, being coldblood, and the ability to hibernate will help a lot.
  2. eat everything
    Being omnivores also help. Find out what species would survive the extinction and made it your diet. For examples, 90% of the bonyfish families survived, as well as insect; so just eat them. Moreover, because your ptero can fly, they can access distant islands that out-of-reach from other species, thus reducing competition.

and finally, just cheat like TrEs-2b said. Your ptero may not survive, but some kind of small raptor did, and they will spend the next 65 million years to evolve back to pterosaurs.

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  • $\begingroup$ "Evolving back" isn't a thing. Also: small raptors did survive on earth. We call them "birds". $\endgroup$ – paul23 Dec 7 '20 at 5:28
  • $\begingroup$ do you mean "being warmblooded"? I don't think being coldblooded was an advantage, was it? Or how did the mammals survive? $\endgroup$ – cowlinator Jan 26 at 0:00
  • $\begingroup$ @cowlinator being coldblooded, or at least, not being warmblooded means you spend less energy on heating the body and thus you have more energy to spare for other uses. for this purpose, being mesothermic might actually be useful as it less you be slightly warmblooded and slightly coldblooded $\endgroup$ – zackit Jan 26 at 17:55
  • $\begingroup$ @zackit, I see. Then how did warmblooded mammals survive the extinction event? $\endgroup$ – cowlinator Jan 27 at 21:06
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This is tricky, but to do what you want, you're going to need to edit any pterosaur that ever existed, or just cheat.

  1. The former strategy is to edit what the inside biology looks like in a pterosaur. I would suggest making ancient, before extinction pterosaurs evolve warm bloodedness inside of being cold blooded, also making them omnivores will help them survive the super winter that the meteor will cause, but there is another solution.
  2. Just cheat! If you look at current bat evolution, some speculative and future biologists suggest they are evolving to have wings akin to a pterosaur and this is a real possibility, by having bats evolve much much sooner in earth history, you can possibly have mammal pterosaurs.

enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ i think being warmblood is actually harmfull for them. Their biggest problem is the lack of food, and warmblood creatures need to eat more than the cold one. $\endgroup$ – Thỏ Già Aug 29 '16 at 0:44
  • $\begingroup$ @ThỏGià yes, but being warm blooded is good for them during the climate changes that are caused by the meteor, such as extreme cold $\endgroup$ – TrEs-2b Aug 29 '16 at 1:06
  • $\begingroup$ for #2, I mean, could you really call them "pterosaurs"? If they only have passing resemblance, and no common history, then they are not related. And if they have an exact resemblance, I feel like that is a big coincidence that would require more explanation than just "convergent evolution". $\endgroup$ – cowlinator Jan 26 at 0:03
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It has to adapt, find new sources of food after the mass extinction event as most probably, the death of pterosaur is caused by the loss of food source. But this also might mean that they need to be smaller. That said, it is possible for them to get larger when the time got right.

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This pterosaur website says that SMALL pterosaurs got through previous exinction events, but because there were only large pterosaurs at the end of the Cretaceous, they became extinct.

So, invent a lineage of small pterosaurs. They survived. Then over millions of years, they evolved into various sizes of descendents - small, medium, large and giant Quetzalcoatlus.

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The major problem is that by the time of the K-PGe Extinction, the pterosaurs were already in decline and had been for quite some time because of the avian dinosaurs which had outcompeted them in just about all niches aside from "Giant flying thing". And big things didn't tend to do well in the extinction. So you need a lineage of small pterosaurs that can somehow deal with competition from the birds.

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Make them small. Small pterosaurs survived 2 extinction events, but alas, since there were only big pterosaurs at the end of the Cretaceous, thus, they became extinct. Your pterosaurs would need to be small, as big as the pterosaurs in the Triassic. Than, take advice from the carnivores. The creodonts died out because they ate meat exclusively, but the carnivores were omnivorous at the time, thus allowing them to survive. Your species would need to eat everything that's smaller than them, or hunt in packs to bring down larger prey. At the right time, of course, they could become big.

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