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kibbles and bits



Let me reiterate what Greg Paul and Tom Holtz have said regarding the
diet of Tyrannosaurus (and other big theropods).  As Greg said, the roots
of tyrannosaur teeth are HUGE compared with their crowns--which, relating
to another controversy, is why I don't buy Jack Horner's argument that
a tyrannosaur biting a fleeing ceratopsian would be apt to lose its teeth,
and so more likely to be a scavenger.  I think the victim's hide, muscles,
guts, etc. would be far likelier to do any "giving" in said scenario!
   But back to the creationists.  If those chaps are arguing that putting
the serrations on the edge of the tooth is better suited for cutting cane
than chomping meat, let me point out that the same position of serrations
occurs in such well-known herbivores as the Komodo dragon and the great
white shark (sarcasm--arh! arh!).
   If I might be permitted to toot my own horn a bit here, let me draw the
attention of those interested to a paper that talks about this kind of
stuff in more detail (no, I'm NOT selling it, but have you seen my new
children's book about carnivorous dinosaurs?  If I were going to plug it,
I'd tell you that it is J.O. Farlow and R.E. Molnar, 1995, The Great
Hunters: Meat-Eating Dinosaurs and Their World, Franklin Watts, with new
artwork by Bob Walters.  But I'm not so crass as that): Farlow et al., 1991,
Size, shape, and serration density of theropod dinosaur lateral teeth,
Modern Geology 16: 161-198.  Also see some of Greg Paul's stuff in Predatory
Dinosaurs.
     And the kicker is a Triceratops pelvis that Greg Erickson is publishing
some day, with lots of NASTY bite marks that nicely fit the teeth of
guess who?
     All right, back to lurking and measuring bird footprints....