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Re: rex scavenge (was: DROMAEOSAUR "SICKLE" CLAWS)



Jeffrey Martz wrote:
> 
> > You seem to misunderstand the problem (as I see it at least).  I believe
> > that the point of Chris' argument here was mainly in energy expenditure
> > (forgive me, Chris, if I am putting words in your mouth).  True, it is
> > important that vultures find the carrion rather quickly, but MORE
> > important that they find it while expending very, very, little energy.
> 
>      This is certianyl useful, but is it neccessary?  If the carcass is
> within feasably walking distance, and the T.rex gets a full belly
> (complete energy refund), what difference does it make?

Thing is, he has to walk around a fair amount before he gets the scent,
walk some more to find the carcass, chase off whoever beat him to it,
and then eat whatever's left.  He has to do this constantly, and I think
he'll run out of carcasses in his immediate area pretty quickly.  The
he's SOL.
 
> > If we assume that tyrannosaurs were scavenging their meals
> > (primarily at least), then what other predator is around to kill the large
> > hadrosaurs and ceratopsians?  Unless you rely on the idea that there were
> > enough animals dying without predation, just lying around, for the
> > carnivores to scavenge.
> 
>        This last is my own main concern with the idea of T.rex as a pure
> scavenger.  But as far as the relative abundance of predator-killed vs.
> old age, sickness etc. carcasses, do you have any hard data to suggest
> that most large dead animals in a given area were really killed by
> predators?

Aside from the occasional outbreak of disease, what else is there?  Once
senescence sets in the predators get the prey animals anyway, and all
that's left is accident (common on things like wildebeest migrations,
but not terribly common elsewhere).  No hard data here, but I'd be
curious as to what else would be an appreciable cause of death.

Chris