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Re: BINTURONG DIET..



>I don't think that any known theropods would have been as opportunistic as
these
>mammals, for even those traditionally assigned broad omnivorous roles are
>conceivably moderately, or very, specialised. Then again, it is to birds that
>we must constantly turn to learn/speculate about dinosaur behaviour. Truly
>opportunistic birds don't make good analogies for non-avian theropods, though,
>because they can fly....
>DARREN NAISH
>
>

More to the point, most vertebrates that eat both plant and animal materials
concentrate, when eating plants, on fruit and seeds, which didn't exist
until the Cretaceous; bamboo, beloved of pandas, probably didn't exist at
all before the KT as grasses radiated most broadly during the Miocene; and
eating large amounts of high-cellulose plant material like leaves involves
special digestive modifications (intestinal flora etc).  Given that plants
were simply less diverse through most of dino history (as food sources at
least) I would not expect to see as many mixed-diet dinos as we do mammals,
but more of a clear division into meat- vs. plant-eaters.  Indeed plant
eaters must have had to inhale the stuff by the ton to get enough nutrients
to survive - is that why sauropods are so big?
--
Ronald I. Orenstein                           Phone: (905) 820-7886 (home)
International Wildlife Coalition              Fax/Modem: (905) 569-0116 (home)
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