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re: T.rex predation



> At 08:27 AM 9/12/97 +1000, Dann Pigdon wrote:
> >       Crocodiles for a start. In some parts of northern Australia
> >crocs feed almost exclusively on the remains of cattle that become
> >bogged in the mud besides waterholes.
> 
> That isn't their natural situation.  Here they are taking unashamed
> advantage of a windfall caused by human animal husbandry practices - namely
> our maintenance of herds of cattle far in excess of the natural carrying
> capacity of the land.
> 
> Under natural conditions crocodiles are rather aggressive predators,
> specializing in ambush hunting of animals that come down to the water for a
> drink.
> 
> [I have seen film of a Nile crocodile taking down a water buffalo - one has
> to be *really* tough to take on one of those beast].
> 
> --------------
> May the peace of God be with you.         sarima@ix.netcom.com
>                                           sfriesen@netlock.com

        I agree completely. The modern situation in much of
Australia is quite embarassing. So many introduced species have
altered ecosystems perhaps beyond repair, but at least a few
species are actually adapting and taking advantage of it. The post
I replied to said a "modern ecosystem where the *largest*
carnivore is primarily a scavenger". Given that there are individual
cattle stations in northern Australia that are larger than many
European countries, and given their combined distribution, these
areas surely qualify as entire "ecosystems", regardless of whether they
are human artefacts or not.
        The point is, there is at least one modern situation were the
largest carnivore is primarily a scavenger. I wonder how many
large dinosaurs became bogged at waterholes during dry seasons in
the Mesozoic, and provided an easy feast for the local carnivores.
In Africa today some predators have to resort to scavenging for
months on end until the rains come and the majority of herbivores
return.
        Oh, yeah. The tasmanian devil is the largest carnivore
in Tasmania, yet scavenges almost all of its food. Another example.
Here again human interference has killed off (?) the thylacine,
a larger carnivore that was every bit the hunter, so this is
also not a strictly natural ecosystem. 
-- 
____________________________________________________
        Dann Pigdon
        Melbourne, Australia
        http://www.geocities.com/capecanaveral/4459/
        http://www.alphalink.com.au/~dannj
____________________________________________________