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Re: Insectivorous Ankylosaurians
Matthew Troutman wrote:
> I believe in 1926 Nopcsa suggested that ankylosaurs were insectivores.
> This has fallen from favor in light of Coomb's and Carpenter's worrk on
> ankylosaurs. But I think that in recent years much evidence has been
> acculumated to support at least a hebivorous/insectivorous feeding habit
> in ankylosaurs.
> First of all the body style is similiar to modern insect-eating
> edentates. Low,armored body style is advantageous because it is easier
> to eat bugs and the armor can be used for defence against stings as well
> as for defence against predators.
> Second of all ankylosaurs had prehensile tongues that flipped in and
> out of the mouth like a snake's tongue. The hyoid bones were very well
> developed and they had a long entogossal process. I believe in Gastonia
> and Pinacosaurus a "scoop" is found in the premaxxila. This would have
> allowed the tongue to flip in and out unhindered. This tongue would have
> been useful for collecting insects like an anteater.
> These features can be made to support a insectivorous lifestyle for
> ankylosaurs, but I support the compromsse of a herbivore/insectivore
It's an interesting notion, and I'm not saying it's wrong. But it
appears to have a few major holes. The first question that leaps to
mind is "where would something the size of an ankylosaur find enough
insects to keep it fed?"