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Re: Definition of "scavenging"



At 07:42 AM 2/3/98 +1100, Dann Pigdon wrote:

>> Scavenging is defined in ecology as feeding on flesh which the individual in
>> question did not kill.  Predation is feeding on flesh which the individual
>> in question did kill.

>Does this mean that, if one lion brings down a zebra, that the rest
>of the pride are scavengers? I suppose this is a problem in common
>with any definition. If it is too exact it may not cover everything,
>if it is too general it may cover too much.

Good question!  As at least some members of the pride participate in the
hunt, they could concievably be considered co-predators.  However, under
such a definition, the rest of the pride might well be considered
scavengers.  (Not a problem, of course, because most carnivore ecologists
don't recognize the categories "predators" and "scavengers", only the
behaviors "predation" and "scavenging", found in the same individuals.)

Speaking of such matters: finally got to see a tape of the forthcoming
PaleoWorld episode I'm in (entilted "Killer Raptors").  Don't expect to see
any cladograms... :-)

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