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Re: Theropod eating and attacking
On Fri, 29 Aug 1997 14:13:50 PUT "Matthew Troutman"
> First of all "birds of prey"( hawks) do not regurgitate pellets. This
>is pellet thing in hawks is a myth. Theropods probably tried to not
>swallow bones because you rarely find them in a theropod coprolite(
>small undigested shards of bones.)
It is not a myth. The habit of regurgitating a bolus of undigested parts
of prey is well documented in eagles, hawks, owls, and other birds. It
is a widespread habit in birds worldwide, according to John K. Terres,
_The Audubon Society Encyclopedia of North American Birds_, Alfred A.
Knopf, NY 1980. This reference lists other birds that regurgitate
pellets include grebes, herons, rails, gulls, terns, shorebirds,
kingfishers, crows, jays, raven, starling, shrikes, thrushes, warblers,
swallows and swifts. Possibly all insect eating birds eject pellets of
the hard to digest chitin of their prey. The museum's captive red-tailed
hawk, eagles, owls and kestrels all regurgitate pellets regularly.
Also, the absence of large bones in coprolites can mean either bones were
consumed and completely digested for their calcium, or they were not
ingested. You can't tell which by just looking at the coprolite.
Education Associate, Virginia Living Museum
All questions are valid; all answers are tentative.