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HERBIVORES TO CARNIVORES..



> >All I
> >could think up was that possibly carnivorous mid-Tertiary kangaroo
> >(featured in Paleoworld once).  (writes Rob)

_Elkadeltea_, the roo to which I assume you refer was, last I heard, one of the
potoroos (can't remember their very long subfamily name - begins with
'?hypsiprym'). These are omnivorous, and, as far as I recollect, none are more
than intermittently herbivorous. The ancestors of _Elkadeltea_, therefore, were
not like the herbivorous roos you may have been thinking of.

BTW, _Elkadeltea_ was (last I heard) a short faced creature. Its arms were also
disproportionally long. Both facts are not reflected in several life
restorations I have seen, where _El_ looks pretty much like a normal wallaby but
with pointy teeth.

Likewise, the mesonychid ancestors of whales were mostly omnivorous, some were
probably strict carnivores (and at least one was a molluscivore), but, as far
as is known, none were true herbivores. But, then, it's impossible to know
whether, somewhere down the line, one of the animals ancestral to a group was
itself an aberrant herbivore, however remote that possibility may seem. For
example, some stem carnivorans _might_ have gone through brief stages of
herbivory, but their descendants became the most carnivorous of furred beasts.

"I don't believe in the Loch Ness monster, even though I've _seen_ the **agger,
_and_ photographed it. But who in their right mind would believe in the Loch
Ness monster. What do you mean 'right mind'?"

DARREN NAISH