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Babies and Ecology



    A while back, I said something about baby dinosaurs filling a different 
niche as adult members
of the same species.  I gave tyrannosaurs as an example, with little, 
coelurosaur-like babies
filling the small-predator niche (for a few months at least) while the adults 
ate larger prey.  The
idea was shot down as people found some rather large logical errors in it 
(after all, the babies
are only small for a short period), but I still think there is a grain of truth 
in my idea.  (well,
I shouldn't say _my_ idea.  I must have picked up that theory from some book, 
but I've forgotten
where).

    After all, baby crocodiles (if they are not being fed by their parents) 
must hunt.  Logically,
baby crocs would hunt smaller prey then their parents, and so would make a 
different impact on
their environment then adult crocs.  However temporarily, the same species of 
croc would occupy two
niches simultaneously.  The same must happen with baby snakes, or baby sharks, 
heck _any_ species
that preys on size-specific food and gives birth to precocial young would exist 
in the sort of
ecological state I have described (what would you call it?  Parallel predation?)

    Does anyone know anything in the literature that bears on the theory stated 
above?  If the idea
is entirely wrong, I really would like to know, since I say something to that 
effect on my webpage
out _Tyrannosaurus rex_ and would have to delete the "parallel predation" 
theory from my page if it
turned out to be incorrect. (or at least give the theory a better-sounding 
name!)

Thanks
Dan