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The turd is the word

Hi all--
        Lots of crap has been excreted lately about the tyrannodump, and
Dr. Greg Erickson (third author on the paper, affectionately known as
"third on the turd" at Berkeley but don't tell him I said that) was kind
enough to permit me to pass on some comments of his.  Take a big whiff and
enjoy the pungent aroma.

>in regard to your questions about our coprolite paper:
>>>The paper by Olson and I (Erickson and Olson, JVP, 1996) on T-rex feeding
>>>on a Triceratops pelvis showed that T-rex was breaking up bones since it
>>>removed approximately one sixth
>>>of the left ilium. Obviously it couldn't swallow a whole
>>>triceratopspelvis! The coprolite findings are consistent with these
>>>previous findings and support the conclusions of Erickson and Olson (JVP
>>>1996) that T-rex was pulverizing much of the bone it consumed . We state
>>>this in the actual Nature article (Chin et al., 1998):
> "...Tyrannosaur teeth appear to be stout enough to dammage bone (Farlow et
>al., 1991), ... and analyses of bite marks on Triceratops and Edmontosaurus
>bones indicate that Tyrannosaurus pulverized bones during feeding (Erickson
>et al., Nature,1996) and probably consumed bone fragments (Erickson and
>Olson, 1996) ."
>The press seems to have overlooked the previous speculations (based on bite
>marks) that T-rex was breaking up bones.
>This does not mean they were chewing (masticating) in the strict anatomical
>sense since the teeth did not occlude, but rather slide past one another
>during orthal biting. Nevertheless, we believe skeletal elements caught
>between the blunt, robust  shearing teeth would  be broken during intial
>bites into the carcass and while orally processing and manipulating
>extracted flesh and bone pieces for swallowing ( the latter behavior may
>have involved multple bites into the extracted flesh and bones). We believe
>T-rex would have consumed smaller elements in their entirety, and I am
>confident further coprolite evidence will show this to be the case.

                        John R. Hutchinson
                 Department of Integrative Biology
                  3060 Valley Life Sciences Bldg.
                University of California - Berkeley
                     Berkeley, CA 94720 - 3140
                      Phone:  (510) 643-2109
                      Fax:    (510) 642-1822