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Re: Theropod eating and attacking

>From owner-dinosaur@usc.edu Wed Aug 20 10:01:00 1997
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>From: Mark Shelly <mshelly@noclant.navy.mil>
>To: dinosaur@usc.edu
>Subject: Re: Theropod eating and attacking
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>   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 
>theropod?  Maybe small prey or fish were eaten whole.  On some 
>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 
>and bite with one side of the mouth?  Or, would they have attacked 
>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.   
>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 
>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 
>to get in the way if this were the case (although resting on it may 
>them to stay ready for an ambush for long time periods).  I don?t have 
>problem with theropods steadying themselves with their hand claws on
>struggling prey while they bit, but I don?t think they would wrestle 
>their feet.
>   Any comments?
>       Mark Shelly
 I do remember Karen Chin saying once she did find small bits of bones 
in theropod coprolites but probably got there from accidental 
I do have problems however with some theropods using their claws to hold 
down prey ( see dromaeosaur pectoral/shoulder girdle ) but the basic 
idea in animals like allosaurs may not be out of question but still 
strenuous. And I can see theropods turning quickly after prey, that's 
what the tail is for!
 Teeth marks are seldom found in dino bones so they were probably 
scooping flesh out.

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