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Re[2]: Trexie and whales..?!



     in Hawaii, the top predator is either the rat, mongoose, or house cat.
     Is that what you mean?  Do these count?  I don't think they evolved 
     into an existing niche, but were rather opportunists using a niche 
     which had no locally evolved organisms in it.
     -Betty


______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Re: Trexie and whales..?!
Author:  holly.ColoState.EDU!martz
Originator: dinosaur@lepomis.psych.upenn.edu 
at nssi
Date:    10/3/95 1:32 PM


>   Um, careful, in many present ecosystems the top predator is quite small 
> compared to the top herbivore. ( E.g., lion/African elephant, tiger/Indian
> elephant.)  If one were to model a late Cretaceous North American ecosystem 
> on the present-day Serengeti, then the top predator might well be a
> lion-sized theropod that took gnu-sized adult herbivores and an occasional 
> calf of something larger, while the _T._rex_es sat around eating road kill 
> and playing tiddley-winks with _Triceratops_ in their spare time.
     
     I notice in both these cases, the top predator is also the BIGGEST 
carnivore around.  Are there any modern ecosystems where the top predator 
is smaller than the largest carnivore (which is presumably a scavenger)?
     
LN Jeff