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Re: Thought for Food (was CRETACEOUS VARANIDS)

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr. wrote:

> Yes, but I think it has to do with dinosaur paleontologists rather than with
> dinosaurs.  That is to say, a lot of people seem to assume "Theropoda =
> strict carnivore, everything else = strict herbivore."
> On the other hand, omnivory or herbivory has been suggested for
> therizinosauroids, oviraptorosaurs, ornithomimosaurs, and troodontids among
> the non-avian theropods, and omnivory for basal sauropodomorphs
> ("prosauropods") and ceratopsians among the traditional "herbivores".  We
> could discuss the various evidence used to support these hypotheses, if you
> wish.

Surely.  I'm always happier with data than with speculation, though you 
probably couldn't tell that from my posts in this forum.  

I expect that one of the reasons theropods are taken for strict 
carnivores is that their teeth do not provide suitable grinding surfaces. 
 This is a little odd when you think about it.  A good scavenger, for 
example, should have powerful jaws and a variety of teeth, including 
grinding teeth, to make the most of the parts the primary predator left 
behind.  Surely this niche must have been explored by some theropods, 
and, if so, the transition to omnivore might not be too difficult.  

  --Toby White