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RE: T.rex predation

Concerning Ralph Miller's comments on Jack Horner's possible reasons for 
saying that _T. rex_ was a scavenger, not primarily a predator:

        This sounds a lot like something Jack would do, stir up trouble.  He 
also has 
a valid point to make - that we really don't have overwhelmingly convincing 
evidence of primary predation.  Also, _T. rex_ IS built FUNNY for our normal 
notions of a predator (Except for the size of those teeth and jaws!!!).

        Personally, I think that _T. rex_ was a hunter, who scavenged when 
- sort of like our own Australopithicine ancestors probably did.

        (As an aside - You never heard it from me or anyone else - Jack once 
told me 
[and the rest of us in earshot at the dinner table {pizza and beer}] that he 
believed - without any proof!!!! - that baby dinosaurs had downy feathers to 
help keep them warm, and lost them as they got older.  This was back in 1986).

        Allan Edels

From:  owner-dinosaur@usc.edu on behalf of Gigi Babcock or Ralph Miller III
Sent:  Friday, September 19, 1997 2:40 PM
To:  MWEDEL@gslan.offsys.ou.edu; dinosaur@usc.edu
Subject:  Re: T.rex predation

> From: Dictator-for-life Calvin <MWEDEL@gslan.offsys.ou.edu>

> Something's been on my mind.  Why is the question always, "How do you 
> know that tyrannosaurs were hunters instead of scavengers?"  I'd take 
> one look at a tyrannosaur skeleton and ask, "What makes you think 
> that they were scavengers instead of hunters?"  Is it the size?  Cuz 
> if that's the case

The weight of a turkey vulture?  Funny you should ask.  THREE POUNDS.

I can't escape the feeling that John R. Horner, whose accomplishments and
reputation precede him (as well they should), put forth the "primarily"
scavenging _Tyrannosaurus rex_ hypothesis as a ploy to incite us to
rigorously question the assumptions we take for granted when we speculate
about the behavior of extinct species.  Perhaps we need something like this
or a paper on respiratory turbinals every now and then to help us put
together ALL the relevant data we can assemble, even if the preponderance
of evidence leads us right back to the view we held in the first place. 
Horner's leading question is: "Where's the evidence?"  I may be one who
inadvertantly dragged this round of the scavenging T.rex discussion back on
to the list (with an mere offhand remark, I might add), but I do not think
John Horner that a scientist of Horner's character and humility would
object in the least to the probing dialogue which has ensued here.

Rant over.  Resume wild speculation.

Ralph Miller III <gbabcock@best.com>