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Re: ptero-"oxpeckers"??

>       Has anyone ever suggested the possibility of an oxpecker-like
> pterosaur, eating insects off the backs of dinosaurs?
>       I can easily imagine that dinosaurs would have welcomed
> birds cleaning their skin of parasites, but I wonder if an
> pterosaur might have ever evolved to fill a similar niche.  Wouldn't
> procumbent teeth work well for feeding on skin parasites?  Just a

This is a bit off-topic, but actually oxpeckers aren't all that
beneficial to big mammals. Recently they have been observed both
opening old wounds and actually pecking new ones on the backs of the
animals to drink their blood. They don't seem to be all that
interested in the skin parasites, but are parasites themselves! AFAIK
there are birds that really are symbiotic parasite-pickers, but
oxpeckers don't seem to be a good example of such birds.

What comes to pterosaurs, they could have evolved into either the
oxpecker or the symbiotic parasite-eater niche, though true
"dinopeckers" would have had a lot harder time trying to pierce the
thick scaly hide...

Matti Aumala