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Suchomimus tenerensis - eating habits

Caleb Lewis wrote:
>    Recently, I have read an article about Suchomimus, the recently
discovered theropod from Africa. I have my doubts and thoughts on this
I personally have my doubts about the statement saying that it was a
fish-eater. Well, that's a pretty big dinosaur to be eating fish. I
 mean, would a dinosaur that big have evolved to eat fish? Personally, I
 have my doubts. This dinosaur looks as if it could bring down a
herbivore equal to its own size, if not larger. Or maybe it waited
underwater, with its crocodile-like snout giving it the appearance of a
log or something, like modern crocs, and then attacking its prey when it
came to drink, much like modern crocs also. Sure, it would have to be
pretty deep, but hey, the bigger the water source, the more the prey,
Sure, there were fish remain inside the fossilized specimen, but I'm
sure other theropods, unlike this one, would grab a fish if they could,
and there was no other game. Don't forget though, that assuming the
behavioral patterns of creatures that have been extinct so long could be
considered futile, because they may have had extremely different
behaviors than animals today do.>

I think, many people have some misunderstanding of the feeding habits of big
animals and their metabolic needs, dinosaurs included. If a meat-eater is
big enough to bring down an animal of its equal size it doesn't necessarily
mean it must specialize in feeding upon such a prey. It rather depends upon
the availability of a certain kind of prey. It certainly doesn't mean the
predator would eat the whole animal of its equal size - it is literary
impossible. First limitation is the size of its bite and throat, second is
the maximum size of its stomach and the time needed to fill it up, the third
is the time needed for digestion and the forth are other competitors and
scavengers who would steal the rest of the food.
 Consider 5-ton T.rex bringing down 3-ton Triceratops. I suppose, with 200 -
300 kg of meat T rex would have its stomach filled up to its throat. After
that, I doubt it would show any interest for food, at least not for a few
days, so it would have walked away to find resting place and left the rest
of the eatable Triceratops to the myriad of scavengers. Much lighter
Suchomimus would need ( my rough estimate) just one really big fish to eat
daily (50 - 60 kg), or eat a couple more (120 kg tops) and then take a break
for a few days. So the quantity of food needed for animal's metabolism and
the abundance of certain prey is what counts, not the individual size of
certain animal the predator can bring down. By the way, many recent
meat-eating mammals can bring down ( and they do it) prey that is several
times bigger than they are.
After all, Caleb noted that the  long and slender Suchomimus snout would be
an obstacle in catching 1-2-tone vigorous and very strong herbivorous
dinosaur - so I think there is no doubt its main food was fish.
DR.Jim Farlow could certainly say more on the subject of dinosaur metabolism
and correct me if I was wrong in my estimates.

Berislav Krzic