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Re: Suchomimus tenerensis

Caleb Lewis wrote:

<<<Well, that's a pretty big dinosaur to be eating fish. I mean, would
a dinosaur that big have evolved to eat fish?>>>

I wrote:

<<Comparison of the predator's size to the prey should not be held
with too much weight. Take, for instance, the basking shark and baleen
whales, whose prey are about a million times smaller then they are.>>

<I believe I know the whale you're talking about. And this whale has
specialized filter-teeth to accomplish just this. It doesn't have
powerful forearms, nasty claws, and a row of nasty teeth.>

  Alligators and crocodiles do; of course, not to overestimate the
comparison of a croc's arms to his head, but a huge rounded claw is
not the usual terrestrial predator's weapon. Living big-game predators
(cats, dogs and wolves, even bears on rare occasions (to my
knowldedge), etc.) all have flat-bottomed or groove-bottomed claws. 

  I personally don't think that the claws were fish slappers as in
bears, or even fish-hooks as the forearm is way to short to be
impressive enough to keep using it, and not evolve longer arms for the
task, which would be more effective in that activity, but hooks
nonetheless: like Dann Pigdon suggested, the scavenging hook
hypothesis is what seems to me a very good use. Tough, strong,
durable, short arms means less movement with greater energy to pull
some pretty heavy weight! To lift fish with arms that could
conceivably lift everyone's favorite 400 lb. wrestler would perhaps be
a little overkill, but not the idea of ripping some dead
*Ouranosaurus* ribcage apart, either one it killed or is scavenging,
just by tilting it's body down and getting those hooks in range. Clamp
on, pull, and finito!

  However, I caution you, Caleb, on dismissing the piscivore
hyposthesis on basis of size, whereas the skull seems supremely
adapted for fish. It would appear to me, immediately, that a
multiple-animal diet, one of the dry season and one of the wet season
in a temperate clime and time where it would not conceivably snow (am
I wrong, anyone?), would seem the most parsimonious explanation for
all the parts.

Jaime A. Headden

Qilong, the website, at:
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