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Re: Theropod "migrations"

"Derkits, Gustav E, JR (Gus)" wrote:
> Hungry animals eat available food.
> Well-documented cases:
> 1. Farley Mowat spent a lot of time observing wolves hunt mice.

Of course, Mowat's also a hack, having made up much of his so-called
"research" and stealing much of it from other researchers.  Murie and
Mech have observed the same behaviors in wolves, however.  Mice are
apparently a staple during the summer months.

> 2. Holes in fossil ancestral hominid skulls once interpreted as evidence
> of homicide have been shown to fit the dentary of a leopard quite well.

Even today leopards are fond of primates, including humans.  Along with
tigers they're the big cats most likely to attack humans.

> 3. The latest issue of Amateur Photographer contains a reasonably
> reliable anecdote of a photographer who became a prey animal for
> the wolves he was photographing. He escaped by using his flash.

I find that nearly impossible to believe.  Wolves tend to be terrified
of humans, and avoid them whenever possible.  None of the literature on
wolves indicates the slightest tendency toward threatening humans. 
Dogs, however, are another matter (there are several ways to interpret
that last line, all of them pretty accurate).

> 4. In Pennsylvania and New Jersey black bears raid bird feeders
> regularly.

Heheh.  Haven't heard about it but I believe it.  Bears will eat

> 5. Hyenas can eat marrow extracted from the bones of
> dried carcasses.

And they love it!  Hyena jaws are actually adapted to crack open bones. 
They don't just do this in extremis -- it's SOP.

> Recommended reading:
>  The Behavior Guide to Africa's Mammals : Including Hoofed
>                      Mammals, Carnivores, Primates [Paperback]
>                         By: Richard Despard Estes,
> available from Amazon.com

Yes, it's a very handy book.  Also useful are Gittleman's Carnivore
Behavior, Ecology, and Evolution volumes, put out by Cornell.