(not really dino
related, but a question that sprung from this thread)
Something that I've been
curious about for a while - why do humans consider some tainted meat too rotten
to eat, when many other mammals, regard it as a good meal?
There's clearly a real
physical reaction (as anyone who's ever had food poisoning can vouch
Is there an adaptive
advantage to eating fresher meat, or has modern man simply become
Are there other examples
of meat being fresh enough for one group [of mammals, or other closely related
groups], but too rotten for others?
The nutritional value of rotting meat is mostly in the amino acids in the
proteins and the lipid components in the fat. Mineral components also
remain. To the extent that these are still there, the nutrition is still
there. And, as you imply, the part that has been recycled into insect (or
bacterial) cells still has nutritional value. The loss in nutritional
value (as distinct from the gain in toxic and disgust value) would be slight
for dead meat in the conditions that are usually eaten by scavengers.
Darren Tanke wrote:
Colleagues, There was some discussion on
the nutritional value of rotting/rotten meat and scavenging generally, which
brought up some unresolved questions: 1.
Nutritional value of rotting/rotted meat vs. fresh meat? Anyone have any
thoughts on this? Have any studies been done on this issue? I'd be
interested in getting copies of such papers if they exist. Someone here
suggested that the rotting/rotted meat would be more nutritious due to the
secondary ingestion of insect eggs, larvae (maggots), and adult insects.
Another person thought rotten meat was more protein-rich but could not
substantiate this claim.