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Re: Did We Get Dinosaurs' Noses Wrong? OPINION (Stanford)

Point taken; that was a bit too broad of a sentence
saying "all carnivores" had that nostril-at-tip
position" . . . I realize the difference, and that's
why I picked only the Komodo as a reptilian comparison
because though other _Varanus_ are carnivores as well,
they are mostly piscivores or small-prey predators and
only the Komodo is a big time hunter and large carcass
scavenger out of the monitors (I think).

I'll rephrase my original sentence to "if all
terrestrial large-prey carnivores have the
nostril-at-tip position . . . "

Ben Landis

> An interesting point came to mind when you mentioned
> the 
> Komodo dragon, as some other species within Varanus
> have 
> nostrils further back.  Basically, within this
> genus, you 
> find nostrils at a number of different positions,
> but all 
> monitors are carnivorous.  So, while the nostrils
> have 
> about the same position in all cats and dogs, we can
> see 
> some variation in the monitors, despite the fact
> they are 
> all predators.  That being the case, I would tend to
> doubt 
> that carnivory determines nostril placement, or
> selects for 
> nostrils of different locations.  Other factors,
> such as 
> semi-aquatic behavior, or burrowing, etc. seem to be
> more 
> important.
> Michael Habib
> mbh3q@virginia.edu
> Student, Biology Department
> University of Virginia

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