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RE: Crocodile predator

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr. (tholtz@geol.umd.edu) wrote:

<...that _Carcharodontosaurus_ (unlike a great white) had
EXTREMELY narrow jaws, so it almost certainly could not grab
hold and thrash around the way a seal-munching shark does.>

  Shoot, the Tomster beat me on this. I hope I'm not stepping on
your toes here, Tom, saw that you'd replied, so held on
answering on my own.

  the snout of Carch is narrower than long, and its a great
length indeed, contra sharks with have wider, rounder jaws.
Tooth arrangement in sharks is with the mesiodistal length
transverse to the long axis of the skull, so that the tooth is
arranged as in our jaws, whereas Carch and Gigi had teeth
arranged in the opposite direction.

  Now, perform a little experiment: Take a bit of an apple out
with your jaws, and with a pair of needlenose pliers -- I guess
if you want teeth-simulation, you can use a jumper clamp. See
which is more effective in removing a section of the apple.

  I can tell you that to be effective, Carch has to get a lot of
its prey's flesh into its jaws before it can bite; good for
slicing whole chuncks, but this is processing power here ... it
was not equipped as a shark is to run it, take a nibble, and run
back out, then back in -- strafing bites. This is what makes
sharks attacks so dangerous. And piranhas for that matter. The
jaws of a tyrannosaur are similar in being rounder in the front
than narrow, as in most allosauroids, so comparing this is  a
good way of examining possible food sources, and behavior in
attack or feeding. See Paul (1988) and Bakker (1986) for some of
the more broader examples of describing bite action in jaws of
theropods. Not all theropods, mind; those of some like
ornithomimids were different, not just because they lacked teeth.

Jaime A. Headden

  Where the Wind Comes Sweeping Down the Pampas!!!!

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