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large theropod body config and predation
OK, another big theropod question.
What 's the current theory about the differences between the body
forms of the Carcharodontosaurids and the Tyrannosaurids? Armed only
with the dangerous weapon of "common sense," and a little reading, I
have intuited the following:
1) Car'ids were an evolutionary response of allosaurids to
increasing size in sauropods, and as such they pushed the frame to
its limits, resulting in shorter legs to sustain the heavier weight.
The heaviness decreased the likelihood that a Car'ids would be badly
injured while approaching sauropod prey. They continued to benefit
from the blade-like teeth of the allosaurs because, despite their
increased size, they were unable to bite into and hold a
sauropod in their jaws without a very good chance of being
2) Tyrannosaurs developed because of the decline in numbers of the
sauropods in the dinosaur fauna of Asia and North
America; remaining large prey species were somewhat faster than
sauropods had been, and Car'ids were unable to cope. Coelurosaurs
exploded into the empty large predator niche, rapidly developing what
they needed to prey on large herbivores (thus explaining the
forelimbs, which got left behind, so to speak). The result: fleeter
large predators with the longer legs of Coelurosaurs and teeth like
railroad spikes rather than steak knives, with an emphasis on biting
and crushing rather than slashing and retreating.
I'm sure there's plenty wrong with this analysis, which is why I'm
posting it. I'd welcome comment. Please comment on brain size
differences as well; I assume the Tyrannosaurs benefitted from larger
brains because they were Coelurosaurs, the bunch formerly
smaller, and who thus had to be smarter (or otherwise better equipped
to sort out sensory data).
"We are Pentium of Borg.
Arithmetic is futile.
Prepare to be approximated."
--from Intel, the Next Generation