[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

Re: Theropods (carnivorous dino



Chris Illes <chris_illes@qm.claris.com> asks:

>Theropods (carnivorous dinosaurs) - this says to me Theropods and all
>further subdivisions of them are carnivorous. Is this an appropriate
>way to break down groups?

I think you're over-interpreting the phrase "Theropods (carnivorous
dinosaurs)".  Theropods aren't defined by our interpretations of what
they ate.  They are defined by particular features of their
anatomy--e.g. they are bi-pedal saurischians.  It just so happens that
nearly all theropods are thought to have been carnivorous (some such
as Gallimimus are thought to have been omnivorous), and that (so far
as I can recall anyways) no other dinosaur groups contain carnivores.
Thus you can pretty much say that theropod is a synonym for
"carnivorous dinosaur", but the actual definition of theropod is
taxonomic rather than gastronomic. 

-- 
Mickey Rowe     (rowe@lepomis.psych.upenn.edu)