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Re: Theropod eating and attacking

Tompaleo@aol.com wrote

>Consider Crocs, Kimodo Dragoons, Monitor Lizards, Tegus and Goanas. Do any of
>these worf up pellets? And still, what of the truly carnivorous snakes? How
>about the giant Pythons, Boas and Anocondas that munch on larger mammals ,
>birds and even caimans?

No, none of them do. All these large reptiles keep the food in the stomach for
long enough to dissolve the bone. In laboratory, bone biopsy specimens take
2 to 5 days, depending on the size, to dissolve all the calcium in an acidic
medium (pH ~3.5). Crocs have a more acidic stomach juice (pH <2), thus
calcium from the bones, even large ones, would be removed within a week or
so. Rest of the bone is protein and could be digested in the usual way. Most of
these large reptiles eat relatively infrequently, so can have plenty of time to
dissolve the bones. Fish-eating birds dissolve the fish-bones much more
quickly as they feed much more frequently. I am not sure about the feathers
though. They are probably tougher than bones to dissolve. 

Gautam Majumdar                 gautam@majumdar.demon.co.uk