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Re: Food for second thoughts?

On Sun, 8 Feb 1998, Matt Stephen Staples wrote:

> > >Ever thought maybe other, ancient predators did similar things? Bite
> > >in, do some injury, but it's then too full or not in the mood and
> > >lets the thing it has sunk it's teeth into go??
> > 
> > A failed attack is quite common with predators... more common than
> > successful attacks, really.
> OK, so I made a mistake. The point you missed was not that failed 
> attacks are common, but that a predator may catch it's prey but 
> willingly let it go because it really wasn't in the mood in the first 
> place. It certainly occures in some modern day examples. Also, what 
> about a dinosaur playing with it's victim?? Like the way some whales 
> (I can't remember which one) toss seals about in the air like balls??

Some of this may not be play, some of this may be part of the killing
process. There are some species of whale and sea lion which bat and flail
their prey about violently. This is not so much to kill them (the animal
is already dead after a chomp or two) as it is to skin them, thereby
removing an undesirable(undigestible?) covering. I know sea lions in
particular do this WRT penguins and I've also heard that it is not an
unknown practice amongst some species carnivorous whale.