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Re: Theropod eating and attacking

On Tue, 26 Aug 1997 18:13:03 -0500 bruce thompson writes:
>How about insects?  Surely there were as many insectivorous reptiles 
>as now.  Do any reptiles ralph up the chitinous exteriors of their 
insect prey?

The only I know of is the african egg-eating snake  (_Dasypeltis
inornata_); and this is before the eggshell has a possibility of being
passed into the stomach for digestion.  I believe  the question meant
after the prey, or parts thereof, were partially digested.   As was
pointed out, reptiles do indeed, need calcium; so much so, that calcium
supplementation is necessary for nearly  *ALL*  of the species of
reptiles found in the pet trade.  MBD  (metabolic bone disease, sometimes
known as "rubber jaw")  due to lack of calcium (and coincidentally, lack
of UV wavelength light)  is one of the most common health problems in pet
reptiles.  I don't know precisely the ingredients of fecal matter of most
reptiles, but I have never seen recognizable bone or chitin particles
among them.
However, the relationship between the dietary preferences of extant
reptiles and dinosaurs is not necessarily strong.  Remember that there is
a complex interplay between ecological niche, metabolism, enviroment and
lifestyle.  All of these affect, and are affected by, diet.  We can
probably say that female dinosaurs needed more calcium during egg
development and deposition-there is no known egg-laying animal which
doesn't.  That's about all.

Alright, everybody who believes in telekinesis, raise my hand!