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Re: Theropod Diet and Niches
> <What is the current consensus on the diet of the following
Consensus... hmmm... there isn't much consensus AFAIK...
I'd say anything that was small enough. Isotopic investigations of bones
from 2 individuals seem to indicate that one was a carnivore and the other
one an omnivore.
Possibly insects (may explain its gastroliths: it pierced the insects with
its remaining needle-like teeth, and the gastroliths squeezed out the
contents) or maybe snails (see below).
Hm. They were apparently crushing something. The oldest suggestion is eggs;
consensus is that their beaks were overdesigned for that. Another suggestion
is clams; here some people say that their beaks were not strong enough for
that. I suggest the water snails that were abundant in LK Mongolia.
HP Paul has suggested plants. This is believed by few and rarely
discussed, so I don't know many arguments for and against this. However, the
archives could be full of such discussions...
Nobody seems to have thought about that one. However, this may change in
some months when the more complete specimens recently found are described in
Leaves because their beaks were good for cutting. Maybe.
This is a large and diverse group. Beakless forms like *Sinornis* were
probably insectivores, *Boluochia* with its hooked beak is agreed to have
been a bird of prey (never seen an illustration...)... no idea about
*Enantiornis*, *Gobipteryx* and the like.
> <Also, a question regarding HP Holtz's division of theropodan
> hypercarnivores into three categories based on hunting style
> (grapple-and-slash, grapple-and-bite, pursuit-and-bite). Into
> which of these three categories (if any) do the following
> theropods fit?
I don't know these categories. Anyway, the listed groups seem to have fed on
prey much smaller than themselves, so probably they don't fall into these