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Re: T. Rex etc.



<On the same topic, to compensate for a full stomach I think it would 
have to move the toes towards the nose - I think that's opposite to what 
Nick Wren said. This isn't my topic really, but I have to say I'm 
finding it hard to believe a tyrannosaur could eat 0.25 of its weight. 
But then the mouth is so huge . . . No-one has yet quoted _PDW_ that 
tyrannosaurs had an advantage over dromeosaurs in that they could 
swallow larger lumps, and so a higher percentage of a carcass.>

I do believe I did, when I said that a rex could eat up to one whole 
third of a hadrosaur in about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Volume of the rex belly 
is immense, greater comparatively than any other group of theropods.

<I also find it hard to believe the eating capacity quoted for a 
cheetah.>

I believe it, since I've seen it. Cheetahs are very slender, and thus 
easily damagable. To minimize the possibility of injury, the prey animal 
will be small (cheetah's own mass, per se) and the predatory competition 
is so great (stronger hyenas and lions being the main foes, but don't 
leave out Cape dogs and leopards) that the cheetah will eat as much of 
its kill as it can before competitors chase her off and steal the 
carcass. This neccesitizes eat a lot; another consideration: cheetah 
metabolism is higher than lions and hyenas, because of the long chases 
neccessary to catch even small prey (small size equals no big food, no 
big food equals small food, small food equals swift food, swift food 
equals swift predator, swift predator equals high metabolism for swift 
predator and prey, high metabolism equals more food, etc.---this is an 
evolutionary line, I'll point out---Pleistocene cheetahs were a lot 
bigger, and were real pedal killers [the huge dewclaw as "dromaeosaur 
equivalent"] unlike today's *Acionyx*).

Sorry about the off-topic meandering,
Jaime A. Headden

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