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Re: T. rex



Brian, et al:

    Jack DOES believe that _T. rex_ was primarily a scavenger, as he seemed
to indicate to Tom Holtz after Tom's DinoFest talk about how well _T. rex_
works as a predator.  He liked the talk, but still thought that Tom was
wrong and he (Jack) was right.  I suppose the idea of a 6 ton, wobbly
balanced, 2-legged EFFECTIVE killing machine is too much for Jack.
[However, some smaller creatures, who are even MORE unbalanced physically -
have managed to become one the most effective killing machines of all (I'm
talking about people - even when unarmed, we can be very good at killing).]

    Yes, I believe that Jack threw the idea out there as a challenge to
stimulate others into proving him wrong, but he will take a lot of
convincing.  He seems to be fond of saying things (_usually_ NOT in print)
that are somewhat controversial, and manage to stimulate productive lines of
new scientific efforts.

    As to the OBLIGATE scavenger idea - I think the obligatory part of it is
Jack's red herring.

    BTW, I think I heard him mention the scavenger idea in the late 1980's,
etiher on a TV presentation, or at a talk he gave locally (in Delaware, I
believe).  I think he asked if _T. rex_ was going to hide behind a rock,
then rush out and trip a _Triceratops_.  That was the closest he came to the
idea of predation by _T. rex_.  [In my view, that is still predation - just
not the active hunter idea that most people still seem to have about _T.
rex_].

    Allan Edels

-----Original Message-----
From: Brian Franczak <franczak@ntplx.net>
To: dinosaur@usc.edu <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Date: Sunday, March 07, 1999 11:10 AM
Subject: Re: T. rex


>Re: Jack Horner's ideas about _T. rex_, Larry Dunn wrote:
>
>> I think what he was saying for those wishing to read between the lines
>> was that he was raising this issue at least in part to get people to
>> think about T. rex just the way that you now are.
>
>I believed this initially as well, but in Jack's last book (DINOSAUR
>LIVES 1997), he was still doggedly propounding this idea, so...
>
>> Many people grew up assuming that T. rex was a homicidal maniac       >
running around killing just for the hell of it. This of course is      >
silly, but Horner's claim that T. rex was an obligate scavenger made a > lot
of incensed people actually sit down and think hard about T. rex's >
lifestyle and what could be reasonably inferred from its morphology.  > It
also made people look for things like evidence of predation upon    > likely
prey species.
>
>Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think Jack started espousing his
>"_Tyrannosaurus_ as scavenger" theory until sometime in the early '90s.
>Ken Carpenter's tail-bitten _Edmontosaurus_ was known in the late '80s
>(or earlier); the original version of my _Tyrannosaurus_ biting
>_Edmontosaurus_ painting (based on that find) was done (at Ken's
>suggestion for an article he was writing) in 1988. So, there was
>*already* good evidence for predation by _Tyrannosaurus_ before Jack
>came up with the obligate scavenger idea. I always wondered why he never
>addressed this particular specimen in his talk at the AMNH.
>
>> Then again, maybe he's right.  :)
>
>In the face of direct evidence to the contrary, it doesn't seem likely
>though. Sorry, Jack.
>
>Brian (franczak@ntplx.net)
>http://www.paleolife-art.com
>