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DIATRYMA: ITS SKULL



In a really good paper published in Palaeobiology a couple of years back, these
guys did a thorough analysis of the Diatryma skull, mainly to settle the active
carnivore-giant goose arguement. 

For starters, they came up with a somewhat different-looking Diatryma skull.
It's more robust, deeper and less hooked at the business end than previous
reconstructions. By analysing crushing power etc., they concluded that D. could
crack bones and might  have made part of its living from bone-crunching. Big
birds don't crack nuts or seeds, they just swallow them whole, and D. had TOO
MUCH jaw power to make sense for an herbivorous life. Also, though it wasn't as
good as runner as other predatory birds, like the phorusrhacoids (my faves), it
could still have moved fast enough to catch the archaic mammals of its time,
which weren't exactly sprint-masters  either.

I'll dig out the ref. if you really want.

DARREN NAISH
19 years old, addicted to dinosaurs since at least 3, and having not even heard
of Bob Bakker till he was 16. You can't tell me that it took a HUMAN BEING to
arouse your interest in dinosaurs! Petty mortals!