Two points of interest:
1. The paper in Nature* on the analysis of genetic material from Neanderthal remains indicated that "the amount of collagen - type debris extracted from 130 mg of the Mezmaiskya Neanderthal rib fragment was about 22% of the average level extracted from modern bones" - after 29kyr!!!
2. Hyenas can digest bone ** and it leads to them being among the most efficient carnivores. Hyenas have been known to eat dessicated bones of carcases in times of famine.
This may interesting because one might look again at the T. Rex turd and get a best possible estimate of the bone-digestive fragments of the species from the size and condition of the bone fragments in it, by comparison with similar-sized pieces in hyena dung.
3. Extrapolating about extinctions: the ability to extract nutrition from long-dead carcasses, either directly through digestion or indirectly through insectivory, may explain patterns of survival in extinctions caused by events (comets) rather than trends (climate change).
* Ovchinnikov, et al. "Molecular analysis of Neanderthal DNA..." Nature 404(2000)490.
** Estes, The Behavior Guids to African Mammals, U. Cal. Press1991.
Al Fraser and Laurie Fletcher wrote: