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Re: Velociraptor Footprints( Arundel contemporary)

>In the case of the  few modern birds that use larger mammals or reptiles for
>platforms,  many do it to pick pests out of the flesh of their rider thereby
>performing a useful (symbiotic) service to the beast. Others use such
>platforms as lookout posts (so I have been told) and  the "platform" gets
>nothing in return (commensalism) for the ride.
>Thomas R. Lipka

Even oxpeckers are not necessarily a boon to their riders; they may pick at
open sores, etc.  Elephants, for example, rarely tolerate them.  However, a
possible benefit some animals may derive from riders is the presence of a
lookout to warn them of predators (though I do not know if there is any
actual proof of this).

PS - don't forget the Carmine Bee-eater, which actually rides around on the
backs, not of mammals, but of large birds like the Kori Bustard.
Ronald I. Orenstein                           Phone: (905) 820-7886
International Wildlife Coalition              Fax/Modem: (905) 569-0116
1825 Shady Creek Court                 
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada L5L 3W2          mailto:ornstn@inforamp.net