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Re: Carcharodontosaurus & Spinosaurus

A slightly different way of looking at the same problem 
(possible Spinosaur and Carcharodontosaur competition):

Both predators in question were very large carnivores 
indeed.  It follows that individuals of each species would 
need extremely large amounts of food.  Therefore, the 
maximum population densities of either species would be 
rather low (probably very low).  This is pretty easy to see 
in any modern ecosystem, as well as by the number of fossil 
theropods that turn up (not that many).  Basically, 
population densities of huge predators must be very low to 
prevent their over-exploiting their food source. At the 
same time, the total population sizes of the given predator 
species must be large enough to prevent chance extinction 
of local populations, and to allow for pairing and breeding.

If both species were competing for the same food supply 
(that is, eating the same food species), then the 
population sizes of Spinosaurs and Carcharodontosaurs 
would each have to be so incredibly miniscule, I find it 
hard to believe they could maintain breeding populations.  

Thus, regardless of structural adaptations, it seems rather 
likely that the two species fed on different prey species 
at least most of the time.

Michael Habib
Student, Biology Department
University of Virginia