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Re: Theropod eating and attacking



On 27 Aug 97 at 23:20, Tompaleo@aol.com wrote:

> Most likely there were strict insectivores as well as omnivores. I
> can's say for sure by my _guess_ would be that yes, they could
> digest the chitinous exoskeletons of insects. If my memory serves me
> ( jokes and comments here) chitin is only a couple of C-H or
> hydroxyl links different than cellulose thus making it a bit more
> 'flexible" and _edible_ than cellulose! I'll check my refs...

My "Binas" (the basic reference and tables book used on Dutch schools 
for biologie (biology), natuurkunde (physics) en scheikunde 
(chemistry), hence the name) shows chitine as being the same as 
amylose, except for the NH-CO-CH3 groups in the location of the 
hydroxyl groups on each sacharid unit of the polysacharid chain.

The difference between cellulose and amylose is that cellulose 
contains the sacharids linked together in different orientations 
every other sacharid molecule (a bit like AB-BA-AB-BA is you take AB 
to be one single sacharid molecule).

As far as I remember from school this is the reason that cellulose
is more difficult to digest: the digestion enzymes do not "fit well"
onto the cellulose molecules and in general in the animal kingdom
the needed enzymes for cellulose do not seem to exist (this is all
from memory!).

So yes, this would probably mean that chitine is more comparable to 
amylose than to cellulose as far as digestion is concerned and than 
chitine is thus fairly easy to digest..

Jarno Peschier, computer science student, Utrecht University
   mailto:jpeschie@cs.ruu.nl    http://jarno.home.ml.org/
____________________________________________________________
    'avwI' nejDI' narghta'bogh qama' reH 'avwI' Sambej