[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

re: T.rex predation

Is it not a fact that almost all carnivores are hunter - predators? 


Stephen Faust                   smfaust@edisto.cofc.edu

On Tue, 16 Sep 1997, Thomas R. Holtz, Jr. wrote:

> At 09:59 AM 9/16/97 +0200, you wrote:
> >HI,
> >
> >I'm a little confused here: at what point does a hunter become a
> >scavenger? What I mean is, a T-rex takes out a prey animal, and kills it
> >(hunter). The animal is dead; T-rex takes a bite, and as far as the
> >fossil evidence will show (teeth marks not healed by time) T-rex now
> >looks like a scavenger.
> By definition, predation is killing your own food; scavenging is eating food
> which died by other means (possibly killed by some other animal, possibly
> disease, injury, accident, starvation, etc.).
> The vast majority of large (>5 kg) terrestrial tetrapod carnivores use both
> predation and scavenging.
> However, some paleontologists have suggested that Tyrannosaurus was an
> obligate scavenger: that it was incapable of killing prey.  (For some on the
> net, please note: THIS hypothesis has been suggested by certain prominent
> hadrosaur workers.  Whether he believes it or not is not the issue: it is
> the hypothesis of obligate scavenging which should be tested).
> >So how do you determine which from the evidence?
> If I tell you NOW, then why would anyone reading this want to go to DinoFest
> next year? :-)
> Okay, actually, many of the points I would bring up have been addressed by
> several other posters on the net.  In addition, some of the technical
> descriptions of key specimens or biomech analyses relating to this debate
> are in press or in review, so let's wait until they are published before
> discussing the details further.
> However, I WILL leave off this puzzler (which has been alluded to already in
> this discussion): how do you demonstrate that Tyrannosaurus (or any other
> taxon) killed live prey?
> Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
> Vertebrate Paleontologist     Webpage: http://www.geol.umd.edu
> Dept. of Geology              Email:th81@umail.umd.edu
> University of Maryland        Phone:301-405-4084
> College Park, MD  20742       Fax:  301-314-9661