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Jonathon Woolf wrote:
> 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.

One thing that I have noticed amongst many extant scavengers is that
they usually have long narrow snouts/beaks to probe deep into
a carcass (vultures, maribu storks, jackals). I can't see a Tyrannosaur
using that great box of a head to pick a carcass clean. Perhaps we
should be looking at species such as Baryonyx as the specialised
        Dann Pigdon
        Melbourne, Australia

        Dinosaur Reconstructions:
        Australian Dinosaurs: