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Re: T. REX THE HUNTER




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> From: Jonathon Woolf <jwoolf@erinet.com>
> To: jaemei@hotmail.com
> Cc: JSeward123@aol.com; dinosaur@usc.edu
> Subject: Re: T. REX THE HUNTER
> Date: Monday, February 09, 1998 7:23 PM
> 
> Jaime Headden wrote:
> 
> > A lumbering scavenger would also have not probably bitten a
> > *Triceratops'* face as indicated by the specimen (don't know the
number)
> > that had *Tyrannosaurus* teeth embedded in the skull. Now, while we can
> > think that no self-respecting T. rex would go after a living trike in
> > the face, with those 3 foot horns (with keratin applied to them, 4.5
> > feet) sticking forward and up, a possible retort would be what T. rex
> > would go after a _dead_ trike's face, covered as it was by very little
> > meat and a lot of tough skin and hide.
> >
> 
> IS there any way of telling what direction the bite came from on this
trike
> specimen, forward or behind?
> 
> > And just in case anyone's wondering, hyenas are more likely to hunt
down
> > prey than lions, and are more effective at it, as well, with their
> > "scavenger" bodies (huge, bone crushing teeth, strong jaws, powerful
> > neck, forward torso enlarged and strengthed to anchor the neck, and
hind
> > limbs well-built to power the whole body). If a hyena were the size of
a
> > lion, the former would win out in almost any battle the two might
> > possibly have, exclusively because the hyena is better built to kill,
> > not scavenge. Lions rely on precise applications of their otherwise
> > slender, delicate canines to pierce flesh in the region of the
backbone,
> > otherwise they hang on and attempt to weary the prey down till they
> > start feeding---mostly when the unfortunate zebra's still alive.
> 
> A couple of misconceptions here.  Lions and hyenas are always competitors
> for the top predator slot.  One usually kills, the other usually
scavenges
> -- but depending on where you go in Africa, either species might fill
either
> role.  In some areas, the hyenas do most of the killing and the lions
> scavenge.  In other areas, the lions do most of the killing and the
hyenas
> scavenge.  In still other areas, both lions and hyenas kill, and both
will
> scavenge given a chance.  There's no known modern large carnivore that is
a
> pure scavenger, yes, but on the other hand there's only one modern large
> carnivore that will never scavenge, and that may be more a matter of
> necessity than preference.  No cheetah has ever been observed to scavenge
> another animal's kill, but then cheetahs are not the bravest of cats, and
> dead animals in Africa are usually covered by other scavengers within
> minutes.  Point is, evolving as a hunter doesn't exclude scavenging as a
> secondary or even primary method of finding food.
> 
> Personally, I have trouble believing that anything as big as T. rex could
> find enough food to keep itself going _exclusively_ by scavenging, unless
> there were an _awful_ lot of dead dinosaurs around, due either to
frequent
> disease or to another predator that had a habit of leaving partial
carcasses
> in its wake.  That's just an opinion, obviously, but it's all I've got
til
> somebody produces better evidence one way or the other.
> 
> -- Jon W.
> 
> 

Just thought I'd point out that male lions are primaraly scavengers (though
not exclusively).  Male lions are incompetant hunters, as a rule; it's the
females who usualy make the kills.  Male lions are, however, the largest
carnivores in the areas where they live, and are quite capable of chasing
other animals away from their kills.  Of course, the unusual (for felines)
degree of sexual dimorphism among lions makes them something of a special
case, but I just thought I'd point that out (and, as far as I know, all
other felines live primarily by hunting, only scavenging occasionaly,
including the biggest, the Siberian tiger).