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tyrannosaurs and phorusracids (was reply to:Large theropod body.



> Larry Dunn wrote:
> >Are the Car'ids believed to have preyed upon sauropods?
>         I had rather imagined they ate anything they could get their teeth 
> into.
> 
> >How does one explain the difference in teeth between the Car'idae and the 
> >Tyr'idae?
>         As far as general differences go, I realize this sounds like a
> cop-out, but ou have to remember the differening ancestry of the two. One of
> them is a coelurosaur, and one a carnosaur (?), and this brings a whole big
> bucket of evolutionary baggage along with it. They each found solutions to
> their particular macropredatory problems in their own way, exapting their
> former structures to new funtions.
>         As far as the teeth are concerned, I imagine the common assertion
> that tyrannosaur teeth were for stabbing and crushing is probably a good
> place to start. As for charcarodontosaurids, I guess they are part of the
> general allosauroid predation mode, whatever that is: attack with arms,
> Holtz; attack using teeth to stab like a sabertooth, Bakker; Slice with
> teeth, Paul; etc. etc. I suppose their teeth could have been used (as
> suggested here and elsewhere) to punch out wounds like a shark. I for one am
> open to suggestions.

I would like to add my thought of two pennies worth.
Tyrannosaurs in general body configuration are quite similar to those 
other famous coelurosaurs, the Phorusracids, except for the absence 
of a long tail in the latter: very large and powerful 
head, quite long and muscular neck, strong and trim hindlimbs with 
respectable claws, dimunitive forearms.
Is it reasonable to suspect they also hunted in a similar way? (as 
described in a 1994 Scientific American article about Phorusracids 
(Marshall, Scientific American February 1994) i.e. 
stealty approaching potential prey in dense undergrowth, dashing 
forward and stunning prey animal with side blow/kick of hind feet (or 
alternatively bumping into it with gape wide open) (perhaps shaking 
smaller animals to death: uh..oh.. haven't I read that in Jack 
Horner's 'The Complete T Rex?). Phorusracids preyed upon mammals 
smaller than themselves which they swallowed whole (all according to 
Marshall's publication);
perhaps tyrannosaurids also preferred smaller prey, such as hadrosaur 
juveniles...
I apologize if I stir up the discussion about tyrannosaur hunting 
techniques again...

Pieter Depuydt