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Monitors and Dromaeosaurs (Was: The uses of sickle claws)

At 09:28 AM 21/09/97 +1000, you wrote:
>       Are the teeth that different from those of monitor lizards?
>Monitors are the scourge of bird and crocodile alike due to their
>fondness of eggs. They also tend to scavenge quite a bit, perhaps
>more so that hunting live prey. I'm not suggesting that dromies
>(love that word) weren't hunters. I'm just putting forward a few
>other possibilities to see what happens. If you can refute them,
>then fine, we all learn something. If not then they remain

Dromaeosaurs had strongly recurved teeth, with course denticles on the back
of the curve and fine denticles on the front.  I know at least the Komodo
Dragon has denticles on its (I am assuming others do to) teeth as well.
Komodos use these for their biological attack (amoung other things).  I
gather (I have very little information on monitor lizard teeth, so I could
use a lesson) that Komodo's teeth are not very recurved, but scalpel-like.
Bill Alber said the perfect slicing teeth had large serations on the rear of
the teeth (the case in dromaeosaurs).  This would place them as cutters and
tearers (I think I invented a word), where as monitors swallow their food
whole.  This goes back to my belief of VERY active hunting for dromaeosaurs.
What good would slicing teeth do an egg (again, I know you were not
suggesting this) or a small animal eater?  Would they not have swallowed
prey whole?  Why the adaptation for pulling off pieces?  I suppose this
would do a scavenger some good, but add this to the claw on the second toe
and you have yourself a nice little hunter.

Having said all this, I do not think many carnivores (and some herbivores)
pass up the chance for an egg meal.  They are a very nutritious meal and
they don't fight back.
Darryl            <dinoguy@interlog.com>
Visit my webpage at:
"Genetics explains why you look like your father, and if
you don't, why you should."  (anonymous)