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Re: Pure predation

-----Original Message-----
From: Patrick Norton <ptnorton@email.msn.com>
To: Dinolist(message) <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Date: Saturday, March 13, 1999 7:47 PM
Subject: Re: Pure predation

>Roger Stephenson  wrote:
>>I think that this point can be argued endlessly, if we so choose. I think
>>carrion should be considered rotten meat, not just dead<
Pat wrote:
>From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)
Carrion \Car"ri*on\, n. [OE. caroyne, OF. caroigne, F. charogne, LL.
caronia, fr. L. caro flesh Cf. {Crone}, {Crony}.] 1. The dead and putrefying
body or flesh of an animal; flesh so corrupted as to be unfit for food.
They did eat the dead carrions. --Spenser.

2. A contemptible or worthless person; -- a term of reproach. [Obs.] ``Old
feeble carrions.'' --Shak.

>From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)
Carrion \Car"ri*on\, a. Of or pertaining to dead and putrefying carcasses;
feeding on carrion.
A prey for carrion kites. --Shak.

Carrion beetle (Zool.), any beetle that feeds habitually on dead animals; --
also called sexton beetle and burying beetle. There are many kinds,
belonging mostly to the family Silphid[ae].

Carrion buzzard (Zool.), a South American bird of several species and genera
(as Ibycter, Milvago, and Polyborus), which act as scavengers. See

Carrion crow, the common European crow (Corvus corone) which feeds on
carrion, insects, fruits, and seeds.

>From WordNet (r) 1.6 (wn)
carrion n 1: dead and rotting flesh; unfit for human food 2: the dead and
rotting body of an animal

>From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)
Putrefy \Pu"tre*fy\, v. t. [Written also putrify.] [imp. & p. p. Putrefied;
p. pr. & vb. n. Putrefying.] [F. putr['e]fier; L. putrere to be rotten
+ -ficare (in. comp.) to make; cf. L. putrefacere. See {Putrid}, and {-fy}.]
1. To render putrid; to cause to decay offensively; to cause to be
decomposed; to cause to rot.
2. To corrupt; to make foul.

Private suits do putrefy the public good. --Bacon.

They would but stink, and putrefy the air. --Shak.

3. To make morbid, carious, or gangrenous; as, to putrefy an ulcer or wound.

While it would seem nit picking, the distinction between carrion and dead
animals is not so semantic.  Many animals are killed before eaten.  That
does not make them carrion.  Many are eaten after they are killed or (yuck)
being killed.  Animals that are killed can become carrion if given enough
time to start to rot.  Animals accidentally killed or who die a natural
death become carrion if something(s) don't come along and eat it before it
starts to decay.  It would seem that to be carrion, the flesh must start the
process of putrefaction.   This would make neither of you right or wrong,
but perhaps discussing the same thing with differing definitions.  I don't
know where processed food fits, but wouldn't call it alive or carrion.
Taking processed food certainly proves carnivores are intelligent,
resourceful, and opportunistic animals.


Michael Teuton