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Re: Waiting for a giant bird and dino physiology revisted

John Bois wrote:
> I believe ostriches are faster than rhea and they have to deal with faster
> predators.  No one has timed marsupial lions...they may well have been
> significantly slower than the continental cats. 

I don't know about thylacaleo, but thylacines apparently chased their prey until
they tired. I've read accounts from the early days of Tasmanian colonisation of
a terrified wallaby bursting through a campsite at night, followed a few minutes
later by a thylacine. I've seen dingos in outback New South Wales use this same
strategy in open areas, chasing kangaroos from a distance until one of them
tires or injures itself. It was probably the similarity in hunting styles of
thylacines and dingos that saw the latter replace the former on the mainland.

> It is also possible that Australia supported a lower
> density (not diversity) of carnivores, and/or that the marsupials were not
> as clever at finding nests.

Brush-tail possums in New Zealand are only too good at finding nests in trees,
especially those of endangered birds. I imagine thylacaleo was probably no
dumber than a brush-tail. 


Dann Pigdon                   Australian Dinosaurs:
GIS Archaeologist           http://dannsdinosaurs.terrashare.com
Melbourne, Australia        http://www.alphalink.com.au/~dannj/