I apologize for the wall of quote snipes, but you threw up a ton of new points I take issue with.
infernovia wrote:The smartest and most adaptable species can exploit these massive climate changes.
These are not equivalents. 'Smartest' here is under the umbrella of 'most adaptable'. Intelligence is an adaptation, just like migration, fur, and claws are.
infernovia wrote:The idea is that mutations randomly creates creature of high intelligence
I wouldn't think this to be true; intelligence develops over time like any other trait. There wasn't a singular mutation that made some ape go AHA, MATH! You can see this in the steadily increasing skull volume of protohumans over many a millions of years.
infernovia wrote: So if the species can just move away, which many no doubt did, there isn't much selection pressure to be adaptable to different environments.
I feel like you're putting the cart before the horse here. Humans didn't become intelligent because we stayed in a singular biome and adapted to it. We became intelligent because a variety of pressures encouraged us to do so; environmental change contributed, but was not the sole reason, and more to the point, it seems that it's contribution is more along the lines of 'required us to change our diet to be more carnivorous, which changed our social structure, encouraged running, tool use, and relaxed the need for strong grinding jaw muscles'.
infernovia wrote:Interesting, the biggest dinosaur egg we found was 18 inches, and infants are usually 14-20 inches, so it is theoretically possible to have an egg that could pop out a hatchling the size of a human infant. I wonder how much the actual size of the egg would be, if it was a regular human infant. Not that I want to see that <_<
And again, the creature can hatch at infant size, and continue to develop. Or even hatch sub-infant size, and continue to develop. Birth/Hatch weight is not a good measure of intelligence across species. Chimps for examples have a much higher birth:adult weight ratio than we do, as their infants are not born as prematurely as ours are, but no one would claim that marsupials are inherently smarter than similarly sized mammals, despite having a strikingly lower birth:adult weight ratio. I think you actually suggested the opposite may be true.
infernovia wrote:And I still can't find what I am looking for (mega-birds are gone but giant mammals still exist
I'm not sure why this is either (ostriches are pretty big, for whatever that's worth), but I don't think it has to do with intelligence. Whales for example are not particularly intelligent. Elephants are, but Rhino's are not. Ostriches are supposedly as smart as dumb rats, while Cassowary's are purportedly more intelligent (I'm not sure how smart...)
infernovia wrote:As a side question... why do birds/dinosaurs have hollow bone and mammals have solid ones? I thought hollow bones were supposed to be as strong as regular bones? Or is that a myth?
Birds have hollowish bones (they're less 'hollow' and more 'honey combed and lightened') to reduce overall weight and allow them to fly. Bird bones are much more fragile relative to mammalian bones, but not all bird bones are hollowed, and not all birds have hollow bones. Flightless birds tend to have denser bones, for example.
infernovia wrote:For the insect thing, we are not talking about the most numerous species or the most diverse species (bacterias) but simply the biggest and most influential species that dominate the land (apex predators).
So what you actually meant was 'largest singular individual and apex predator over those biomes'. Sure, yeah, mammals dominate in the 100+ lb animal size range. I don't think that's really saying much though, because that's not a very large group of organisms. I wouldn't even say mammals are the 'most influential' species in... just about any biome.
infernovia wrote: Also, I thought pigs/ravens were considered to be pretty smart?
They are! I've even mentioned ravens a few times in this thread! Both are, IIRC, about as intelligent as dogs, or a bit higher. What of it?
infernovia wrote:I thought birds incubated for months, and it looks like it's usually just a month for the little ones, so it about comes close to the end of the human trimesters. It's breaking my brain that they can get that smart with that little energy investment, but evolution is awesome in that way.
You cannot compare across species like this; eggs are laid a few weeks after fertilization and incubated for about a month, and baby birds fed for about a month, and then they're fit to fly. Mice/Rats (to pick a similarly small sized mammal) gestate a month or so, and are weened in about a month.This point is important
; you keep making assumptions about what developmental stages things MUST happen at, and what I keep trying to explain to you is that life as we know it doesn't abide by your rules. Viviparous animals (Marsupials and Mammals and a handful of various fish and reptiles) birth their young at a range of different developmental stages, and either care for them or don't until they're able to fend for themselves. The exactly same thing can be said of oviparous animals. The *difference* is that egg laying places a size limitation on these organisms, meaning the birth weight and the adult weight may be extreme, as in the case of dinosaurs. That is interesting, but kind of irrelevant to the issue of 'can intelligence arise'.
infernovia wrote:As for the mobility factor, we are talking about birds vs. mammals. Birds need to create nests and the eggs are essentially immobile. Mammals, even while being more limited than normal, are usually much more mobile than that.
Mammals den or hole up, and birds will leave their chicks. In all biomes, you'll find mammals that birth a litter, and the female will stay with the litter, relying on paternal hunting contributions, and in all biomes you'll find birds that will do the same. I'm not sure what you're thinking here; a lot of mammals will den up, birth the litter, and leave, only returning once every 24 hrs to nurse for about 30m. No joke, there are mammals that impart significantly less post-birth behavioral investment in their youth than your average bird.
Again, I apologize for the wall of quote snipes. I asked you about a page back to concisely state your contention, and you didn't, and I feel you're sort of just throwing up a variety of off topic points now. If you concede that intelligent egg-laying animals are possible, and you're simply interested in further discussion of the differences and cool quirks of ovi- and vivipary, then awesome, I'm totes on board, but I would like some acknowledgement that you've understood the myriad points made, otherwise I feel like you're intentionally trying to get us to run after ever changing goal posts.
... with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet.