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Re: Theropod eating and attacking

Re: Horned dinosaurs and other queries
Lora Nelson wrote:
>Recently I watched a documentary about crocodiles in Africa.  I
watched shots of them feeding by tearing off chunks of meat and
swallowing it whole without chewing it.  My question is this.  Did any of
the meat eating dinosaurs chew, or did they all likely feed in the same
manner as the crocodiles.  Tearing off chunks of meat, holding their
snouts up, mumbling and shifting the food around in their mouths until it
was at the right angle for swallowing and then swallowing the food all in
one chunk. <

W Matt Troutman answered:
>>Regarding crocodile feeding habits and theropod feeding habits.
 Theropods most likely fed like birds AND crocs. Birds and crocs do not
have cheeks so they most tear up meat and swallow it whole without
chewing. But crocs feed differently from birds in that they rush their
eating. This is a survival trait since crocs live in big groups and have
to defend for their food. <<

   Would theropods swallow the bones?   Could they digest the bones or
would they have to pass them or regurgitate them?  Passing them doesn?t
look possible to me.  Would the feeding habits change by type or size of
theropod?  Maybe small prey or fish were eaten whole.  On some theropods,
hand claws may have been used to dismember the bodies at the joints, or
scrape meat from bones.  Beaks may take strips of meat at a time.
   Also, would theropods attack with the head swinging in a sideways arc
and bite with one side of the mouth?  Or, would they have attacked coming
straight with the mouth open?  Possibly they attacked from above.  It
unlikely that they  choked their prey or tried to bite through the
to kill their prey like cats.  A bite, pull and shred attack like a dog
would do
appears better suited for a 4 legged attacker but seems possible.   Maybe
larger theropods just took a big slashing bite at their prey and waited
for the
animal to weaken for a final kill.  I can?t see theropods turning quickly
cats or dogs when they are chasing prey.  As such, a stealthy approach
to be a good way to get close for a final dash.  The pubic bone would seem
to get in the way if this were the case (although resting on it may have
them to stay ready for an ambush for long time periods).  I don?t have any
problem with theropods steadying themselves with their hand claws on
struggling prey while they bit, but I don?t think they would wrestle prey
their feet.
   Any comments?
        Mark Shelly