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Re: Hominids as prey, was Re: Theropod Bias?



Joshua Smith wrote:
> 
> Joe Daniel wrote:
> >
> > One answer to why they would have passed us up is that most predators
> > seem to be somewhat hardwired for particular prey items.  They will
> > often pass up food that is easier to get simply because it isn't on
> > their menu.  This changes as they get older and begin to lose the
> > ability to catch their regular prey or when their normal prey is scarce.
> > Then they will begin to experiment on other animals, like us.  This may
> > be what happened to the unlucky austras.
> >
>         That only happens if the environment is ideal with respect to all
> memebers of the tropic groups that exist in it (a situation that rarely
> occurs).  If there is the slightest bit of stress on the stability of the
> groups, then predators become creatures of occasion, going after whatever
> gets in front of them, including other predators.

Not quite as rare as you seem to think as most predators react this way.  But I 
agree 
insofar as stress placed upon a predator's ability to catch preferred prey will 
cause 
them to switch to easier more available prey pretty easily.  Seems we disagree 
mainly 
on how commonly predators stick to their preferred prey.  Unfortunately, I 
don't know 
of any study that has really looked at this and all the info I have is 
anecdotal or as 
tidbits tossed out from people "knowledgable in their field," i.e.  the 
unpublished 
word of people I know studying predator/prey relationships in the UA system.

Joe Daniel