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Re: T. rex scavenging (was DROMAEOSAUR "SICKLE" CLAWS)



At 10:29 PM 9/10/97 -0500, Kevin James Dracon wrote:
>
>
> Many carnivores
>(referring the order Carnivora, not just any meat-eating vertebrate) 
>have
>a highly developed sense of smell, but none are strict scavengers.

Uh-huh.  The better to smell you with my dear.

[Or, more pedantically: it makes for more effective hunting].

>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.  

If he didn't, I did, and do.   I watch vultures around here from time to
time.  They are *very* low energy flyers, lazy one might even say. I do not
think there is much doubt that this energy efficiency is a key factor in
the success of vultures and the like.  (An efficient glider can spend less
energy per pound than we do just standing).

All in all, based on modern complex terrestrial ecosystems, I am very
doubtful that T. rex took more than 40% of its meat by scavenging (that is,
it is highly unlikely to be more of a scavenger than a hyena).

>The
>interesting thing is that the wound healed!  This means that _T._rex_
>attacked a living animal.  

What is more, given the relative rarity of fossils, and the frequency of
post-mortem disruption, finding even *one* such example is effectively
evidence that such attacks on living animals happened with fair regularity.

--------------
May the peace of God be with you.         sarima@ix.netcom.com
                                          sfriesen@netlock.com