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Re: DROMAEOSAUR "SICKLE" CLAWS




On Wed, 10 Sep 1997, 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.
> 
> LN Jeff
> O-

I must agree that Horner does make a good argument.  Many carnivores
(referring the order Carnivora, not just any meat-eating vertebrate) have
a highly developed sense of smell, but none are strict scavengers.
Interestingly, the only strict scavengers are vultures and "turkey
buzzards" and I believe that many of them actually have a very poor sense
of smell.  I believe it was GSPaul who pointed out that the only reason
that these animals are able to be scavengers is because they expend so few
calories in searching for food (simply gliding) and covering such a huge
range.  

I know that you do not rule out that _T._rex_ could have
occasionally attacked animals, but I would like to point out one such
instance where we are sure that it did attack a living creature.  The
skeleton of _Edmontosaurus_ in Denver shows the scar of an attack on its
tail.  Dr. Kenneth Carpenter (a wonderful gentleman, willing to indulge
even a non-professional such as myself, thanx, Doc) spoke with me and has
assured me that wound could only have been made by a _Tyrannosaurus_.  The
interesting thing is that the wound healed!  This means that _T._rex_
attacked a living animal.  

Note that this was not a flame attempt, I do not indulge in that lovely
pasttime.  I see nothing wrong with others doing it (especially when they
are so certain that they are in the right), I simply choose not to do it
myself.  I am, however, open to anyone who wishes to flame me.  I love a
good roast!!

Jack
jconrad@lib.drury.edu