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Re: DROMAEOSAUR "SICKLE" CLAWS
Jeffrey Martz wrote:
> > mean I think he's right about _T._rex_. The ecologist in me rebels at
> > the thought of a large terrestrial scavenger; it just doesn't fly.
> > Something like a 40% hunter/60% scavenger maybe, but a pure scavenger?
> > No way. The dino just couldn't cover enough ground to make it work.
> If it was wandering around randomly looking for food, maybee not.
> Horner's most compelling evidence (in my mind) for T.rex as a major
> scavenger is the size of an olfactory bulb. If a meat eating animal had a
> great enough sense of smell that it could head directly toward carcasses
> miles away, its success as a scavenger would be improved dramatically.
> Even Horner doesn't see T.rex as never taking down an easy prey animal, he
> just sees scavenging as being predominant over hunting, and I am not
> prepared to discard the idea entirely.
It's more than that,though. It just wouldn't be efficient to rely
primarily on scavenging; there's a reason vultures are the only large
scavengers out there -- they can soar all over creation looking for food
and it costs them next to nothin in terms on energy expenditure.
Picture a wolf trying the same thing: do you honestly think it could
find enough dead stuff to subsist on? In an environment as complex as
the Serengeti the _T. rex_ might get away with a fair amount of theft,
but not enough to survive on. Hyenas, who probably scavenge more than
any other large predator, still take down some 60-70% of their own
food. They just can't cover enough ground to do things by
scavenging/theft alone. Yes, _T. rex_ has a big honking olfactory bulb;
but it has to get to the kill it's picked up before it's picked clean by
others, and it has to do this on a regular basis. Vultures operate by
finding food fast, getting to it quickly via flight, and scaring off
other predators via large numbers. _T. rex_ didn't have any of these
advantages, andthat sniffer would work just as well for finding food as
for finding carrion.