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Re: T.rex Predation and/or scavenging
> > Why would a scavenger evolve such a large head? It doesn't make sense
> > that a scavenger should have such a cranium. I mean look at it. Its one
> > of the biggest things I have ever seen. It provides lots of room for
> > muscles and lots of bracing for the teeth. You look at the front of the
> > T.rex skull and it stares back at you.
Consider the size of the carcasses that T.rex would be pulling apart.
Tyrannosaur inflicted damage Triceratops remains indicate that they were
capable of biting through bone. Certainly a good thing for a predator,
but some of these bite marks included vertebrae and pelvic bones
repeatedly chewed on until they were bitten in half. The distribution
of the bite marks and repeated biting required to do this suggests this
was post-mortem damage, so for Tyrannosaurus, consuming a carcass, whether
freshly killed or scavenged, apparantly could involve serious
dismemberment. Those big powerful jaws may have been useful for
predation, but they were apparatnly just as good most getting the most out
of the carcass after death. For a scavenger, this is a good thing.
> there is concrete evidence that _T._rex_ hunted; Denver has a skeleton of
> _Edmontosaurus_ who survived a rex attack!
I have seen the tail close up personally. Ken's argument makes
sense and is probably right. I am mainly playing Devil's advocate, but I
want to illustrate that T.rex as a serious, even habitual scavenger, is
not at all at odds with its anatomy. My main problem with the scavenger
idea has not to do with the prompt location of local carcasses, getting to
them fairly quickly, or chasing off competitors; I think T.rex has all
these bases covered. It is just questionable as to whether the mortality
rate of ceratopsians and hadrosaurs (or sauropods further south) was great
enough to supply the demand of a healthy sized tyrannosaur population.
Again, I would like to see some hard numbers on this, but it may be
questionable. I simply think Horner has a point in placing a much greater
emphasis on scavenging in T.rex then for most modern carnivores, even if a
large percentage, even more then 50% of its diet, came from hunting.