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Re: dinosaur inspiration

At 12:05 PM 9/18/96 -0500, Achut Reddy writes:

>>I concentrate on the theropods for one reason, if we can determine the
>>metabolism of the predators, we can safely assume a similar metabolism
>>for the herbivores.
>Not that I disagree with this, but what is your argument here?
>Is it that if the predators' metabolism is high, the metabolism
>of their prey has to be as high in order to have a chance of outrunning
>them?  A counter-example would be modern predatory birds that 
>hunt snakes and other reptiles.

The basis of my arguments centers around the top continental
herbivores and carnivores.  Subdominant species can and do exist
within predator/prey systems where one species has a higher metabolism
than the other.

All I offer is a chance to simplify things slightly.  If we can
strongly assert (in science, we never really completely PROVE
anything) that the top predators in an ecosystem were of a certain
metabolism, then the top herbivores *must* have had a similar
metabolism.  For example, if we show that T. rex was strongly
endothermic, then we can be very certain that _Edmontosaurus_,
_Triceratops_, and other large dinosaurs were all endothermic.

Rob Meyerson
Orphan Vertebrate Paleontologist

"They know their enemies by natural instinct."