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"Segnosaur" teeth



>Segnosaurs are a very peculiar group of dinosaurs.  At present little is
>known of its origins.  At one time it was thought they were remnants of
>an ancestral theropod/prosauropod split..but recently described material
>Alxasaurus shows it is a theropod.  The teeth are not those of a
>herbivore, but indicate a mixed diet.  A lot of work is still needed to be
>done on this dinosaur..

Actually, the serrations on the teeth of Alxasaurus (as well as those of
the Troodontidae) scale with relation to tooth size with those of known
herbivores (iguanid lizards, various ornithischian and sauropodomorph
dinosaurs, etc.).  Myself and my coauthors, Christine Chandler and Dan
Brinkman, recently (i.e., last week) presented evidence which suggests an
omnivorous diet for these forms.

[Actually, we said that the tooth morphology and other characters suggest a
larger proportion of vegetable matter in the diet of these forms than in
that of the standard theropods].

Other potentially omnivorous theropods include oviraptorosaurs,
ornithomimosaurs, and Avimimus.

                                
Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.                                   
tholtz@geochange.er.usgs.gov
Vertebrate Paleontologist in Exile                  Phone:      703-648-5280
U.S. Geological Survey                                FAX:      703-648-5420
Branch of Paleontology & Stratigraphy
MS 970 National Center
Reston, VA  22092
U.S.A.