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Carnivorous ground sloths



The revelation that ground sloths were actually rapacious predators 
had led to a worldwide re-examination of fossil evidence.  Some of 
the new discoveries that are turning paleontology upside down:

Allosaurus, lacking a monster oleocranon, was forced to use its 
foreclaws to pull down treelimbs so it could nibble the leaves.

Stegosaurs used those tail spikes to impale small theropods, which 
they then consumed at their leisure.

Mammals remained small throughout the Mesozoic thanks to 
insectivorous sauropods, which used their long necks to ferret out 
(no pun intended) the hairy little treats.

Ceratopsian beaks closely resemble the beak of the Common Snapping 
Turtle, _Chelydra serpentina_, and were clearly used for tearing 
flesh.

The cheek tooth batteries of hadrosaurs were obviously used to grind 
up animal bones, making them true osteovores.  Pachycephalosaur 
skulls are thought to have been their preferred food.

Pterosaurs are thought to have hunted the triconodont bats to 
extinction, thus accounting for the lack of fossil evidence of the 
latter.

Ankylosaurs used their armored tails to pound tyrannosaurs into a 
thin pulpy substance, which they could then consume with their rather 
unimpressive dentition.

A spectacular find in the South Dakota badlands indicates that, at 
least for a short time during the Miocene, pigs really did fly.

I bet ole George (Cuvier, that is) must be rolling in his grave.

All in fun,

Matt Wedel