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Re: dinosaur inspiration



On Tue, 17 Sep 1996, Rob Meyerson wrote:

> > 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.

Nick Longrich responds:

>       Komodo dragons, pit vipers and crocodiles (both modern and the 
> Eocene Pristichampsus) come to mind as exceptions, along with the Great 
> White and bird-eating spiders-....

Forgive me if I'm reading this wrong, but doesn't Rob's statement refer to
a generalized study of the TOP predators of the day, and not every predator
within its own habitat?  

If we were looking at the fossil record of today eons in the future, we
probably would not assume Komodo dragons to be top predators, but simply
'forces to be reckoned with'.  While the dragons (and the other referenced
creatures - Great Whites excepted) are certainly successful in their own
particular niches, they are certainly not the TOP predators of the day, and
would not be used in Rob's theory.  This would be left to animals like the
big cats, wolves, and bears, which certainly can be used to deduce ideas
about the metabolism of their prey.

Just a thought...

Tony