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Re: Meat eating sauropods



>   There was a mention on either s.b.p or the dino-list about a Bakkerian
>claim of sauropods grabbing theropods with their mouths and tossing them
>around.  It was only an off-hand comment, no real detail, but it piqued my
>interest.
>
>   Anybody know anything more about it?

You have made an erroneous, but understandable, assumption here.  The
article (in Earth Magazine about a year ago) concerned sauropod *defense*,
not predation!  Note the comment was "grabbing theropods with their mouths
and tossing them around", not "grabbing theropods with their mouths and
eating them".

Bakker's article discusses two of the possible defenses of sauropods -
whip-tails in diplodocids, and biting in brachiosaurids and camarasaurids
(as I recall, he forgot the defense of titanosaurids - armor).  It is true
that brachiosaurids and camarasaurids have fairly large, strong teeth, but
they have another line of defense, size, which may have been more useful in
deterring becoming lunch.

                                
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.