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Re: T. rex the Licensed Hunter
Bill Hinchman <BHinchSaur@aol.com> wrote:
> In reference to the posting comparing toothed whales to Theropods, I
> see the relation either. The toothed whales (unless I am misinformed...
> please correct me if so) do not use their teeth to eat. In fact the
> of the mandible only teeth is somewhat of a mystery. Whales that hunt
> giant squid seem to swallow their prey whole.
John R. Horner's argument that _T. rex_ was obligated to being almost
exclusively a scavenger hinges partly on the question of how _T. rex_
*caught* its prey and relies on comparisons to the functional morphology of
extant predators and scavengers. Sperm whales most probably do catch and
wound large prey (such as the giant squid) with the help of their teeth,
and I see no reason why tyrannosaurids wouldn't have done the same. (Don't
you think those sperm whale teeth are good for *something*)? Once caught,
the prey animal would be dispatched and processed differently by these
unrelated predators, but the point is that a massive animal with large jaws
and robust -- but not especially sharp -- teeth should be capable of
grabbing hold of prey with the teeth, with or without the benefit of useful
arms. (It looked good in the "sperm whale vs. giant squid" computer
graphic simulation, anyway).
The main point of my previous post was the revelation that the sperm whale
is a modern example of a multi-ton predator which makes use of a truly
awesome olfactory organ (which is very large in relation to the overall
body volume) in locating prey, and that in that "sense" it is no less apt
an analog for tyrannosaurid behavior than the flying featherweight turkey
vulture. In fact, there is no neat extant analog for tyrannosaurids which
covers all the bases. There is nothing like them today, and this is why
they so amaze us.
Ralph Miller III <email@example.com>
"Grandma, what big teeth you have!"