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Re: Utility of Scavenger vs. Predator Argument



> I have been somewhat bemused by the amount of energy spent on the argument 
> between those who think T. Rex was a scavenger vs. those who think T. Rex 
> was a predator.  It seems I must be missing something.  I'd like to know 
> why this argument is so intense, and in what significant way knowing the 
> answer would advance our knowledge.

     It would advance our knowledge about whether T.rex was a predator
or a scavenger.  If you want to take a larger view, it may
tell us something about the upper limit of terrestrial
predator size, or the upper limit of terrestrial bipedal
predator size, or the upper limit of predatory theropod 
size, or about the ecological feasibility of being a career scavenger if
you have low enough metabolism and a good enough sense of smell, something
that doesn't seem possible for terrestrial carnivores today.    
      Paleontology is a science that, like astronomy or
anthropology, exists because we are creatures with a big mass of nervous
tissue between our ears that wants to know things for the sake of
knowledge.  None of these sciences can cure cancer if that is the only
"significant" sort of knowledge.  Personally, I think it would be pretty 
dreary if we weren't willing to fund the arts or sciences that exist only
to discover how the universe works.          

LN Jeff
"Well, that was deep.  UUUUUURRRRRPPPPP!!"