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CARNIVORE FROM HERBIVORE AGAIN!
> But we would have a lot more trouble
> evolving a herbivorous therizinosaur from a carnivorous tetanuran...
Hmm, it might not be that tricky to derive a herbivore from a carnivore but only
when the ancestral carnivore is not a really specialized one (which most
theropods, as far as we know, were). Amongst the mammals, kinkajou and red panda
are a carnivore lineage gone herbivorous, as are bears like the giant panda,
some of the brown bears and at least one of the tremarctine ('running') bears.
Anyway, George's observation still stands..
At last, I have found a 'carnivore' (actually, a whole order of them) that has
descended from a herbivore. I think - think - this is what the original question
was - a carnivorous vertebrate that had herbivorous ancestors. PANGOLINS!!!! OK,
so they're insectivores, but it's the best I can do. _Eomanis_, the Hans Messel
pangolin, has bits of leaves in its stomach. It's reckoned that pangolins were
first leaf eaters. Perhaps because of their restricted energy budget and
foraging space, they began taking advantage of leaf cutter ants by grabbing
ants that were carrying leaves. In doing so, they accidently ingested ants,
until eventually these insects began making up part of their diet.
I have before me the paper 'A beaked bird from the Jurassic of China'. Why
should a keratin beak evolve from labial scales when it is equally as simple for
small theropods to have had keratinized mini-beaks themselves?
"I've got my computer" "I swing through the air" "I play the piano" "And I've
got blue hair - hut!"
DARREN 'ex-marmam' NAISH