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Re: Predator relationships

John Bois wrote:
> On Sun, 7 Sep 1997, Chris Campbell wrote:
> > liked about _The_Lost_World_ (the other being the nifty-keen effects);
> > the portrayal of 'raptors as grassland predators and the _T._rex_ as a
> > more forest bound species was interesting and fairly sensible.
> "Grasslands" didn't exist back then.  A paper of 1993 (ref. if required)
> talks about "prarie ferns" being dominant in this kind of niche.  But they
> appear to be a mere 20 cm high!  It is though, I agree, an intriguing
> image.

Just when did grass evolve, anyway?
> I don't know why _T. rex_ would be a forest-bound animal.  Where does a
> _. rex_ live?  Pretty much wherever it wants to.  If it depended on herds
> of herbivorous hadrosaurs, it would live, or at least hunt (scavenge?) in
> the open.  I forget what paper correlates the size of an animals shoulders
> with the height of the lower branches of its forest (selection to
> reduce bumping heads on things), but surely this would impact (as it were)
> _T. rex_ as well.  I think this makes it highly unsuited to forests.

Depends.  Some of your old growth forest is quite clear of underbrush
and low limbs, so a _T._rex_ might have done fine there.  The reason I
call this portrayal sensible is because I can't see a tyrannosaur doing
the stalk and charge deal without benefir of significant cover, i.e.
trees.  While I don't subscribe to John Horner's interpretation of
_T._rex_ as a total scavenger (I seriously doubt any big terrestrial
animal could survive as a pure scavenger; vultures get away with it
because they *fly*, an oft overlooked fact), I also can't see it being a
terribly adroit hunter.  The only option left is ambush, which requires
a lot of cover given its bulk.  Hence, forests.  Just a pet theory, but
it looks good on the surface.  <Shrug>