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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
>possibilities.

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:
http://www.interlog.com/~dinoguy
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"Genetics explains why you look like your father, and if
you don't, why you should."  (anonymous)
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