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T Rex scavenging myth
Subject: Scavenging T. Rex a myth
Responding to numerous listings about scavenging as a primary lifestyle for
Among large animals, thermal air-current fliers like vultures and storks are
successful scavengers. They expend very little energy covering enormous
distances in search of prey. No large ground-dwelling animal makes a living
exclusively on scavenging carcasses because such an animal would expend too
much energy in an effort to locate the occasional carcass.
I have kept a turkey and chickens --ground birds -- to watch their
behavior. All are opportunists. They will eat live food and carcasses when
ever and where ever sustanence can be found. The same is true, I understand,
of all the very large ground birds (i.e.: emu, ostrich).
I suspect all large saurian predators were opportunists, just as large
cats are today. As with large mammalian predators armed with speed, claw,
stabbing or cutting teeth, theropods were designed to kill. And unlike
mammalian predators, theropods employed fantastically strong legs that could
deliver a fatal blow with one kick -- just as an emu can.
Tyrannosaurs and others needed not "fight to the death" with dangerous
prey, as well. They could avoid direct engagement through stealth, pack
behavior, hit and run tactics and kicking.
Predator trackways (including the new ones in Bolivia) seem to shed light
on active predation, i.e: stalking or following prey animals.
And finally, the lose of size in arms among Tyrannosaurs and Carnotarsians
seems to indicate that scavenging was NOT a primary function. Large powerful
arms for holding carrion and tearing claws for cutting would have been an
asset to any predator. The fact that these animals lost upper appendage size
indicates to me that they were evolving arms to keep out of harms way when
grappling with dangerous prey. The skulls had evolved in size and firepower
I'm solidly on the side of active predation AND scavenging. I guess I
trust my turkey in the backyard too much to view this question any other way.
Isn't life grand!