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RE: Utility of Scavenger vs. Predator Argument



Jefferey Martz said:

>     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.    

Si.  The ecological questions raised by having critters that big are
numerous.  Think of the scavenging niches that are open when the food supply
is that discontinuous.  What are the implications when one kill of a major
herbivore is a lot more than the hunter could possibly eat?  Does that imply
that they hunted in groups to make more efficient use of the kill?  Did it
mean that there was a regular sequence of scavenging among different
predators regarding the same kill?  Imagine if the only food items available
were 1 kilo hamburgers which were very expensive.  Who would order it, who
would pay, how would the food get rationed out, and ultimately who would eat
it?  

And how many of those &$*&$@! teensy little ketchup things is it going to take?

  --Toby White