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A Little Brain Teaser



Okay, here's a fun question for all of you to ponder: Name one carnivore
(extant/extinct) that can be confidently said to be derived from an
herbivorous ancestor. Omnivores don't count - this must be a bona fide
carnivore (I'm not sure if insectivores count). Some graduate students here
at Cal were talking about it yesterday and largely were stumped. All I
could think up was that possibly carnivorous mid-Tertiary kangaroo
(featured in Paleoworld once). I guess there's also that one
desert-dwelling mouse that hunts voraciously (the one that howls). Any
dinosaur examples that anyone can think of (I'm asking for good examples
here, not wishy-washy possibilities)?

                        John R. Hutchinson
                  Evolving Evolutionary Biologist
                 Department of Integrative Biology
                University of California - Berkeley
                        Berkeley, CA 94720
                          (510) 643-2109

        "Thus, the student of adaptation has to sail a perilous course
between a pseudoexplanatory reductionist atomism and stultifying
nonexplanatory holism."         --E. Mayr, "How to carry out the
adaptationist program?"