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Re: Would the Real Dromaeosaur please walk thru the door?



On Wed, May 23, 2001 at 11:07:00PM -0000, omtvedt@hjem.as scripsit:
> >Ratites aren't smart, either, despite varied diet, so perhaps my
> >generalization has a problem, but I think it holds for the most part --
> >do ratites vary their feeding *environment* much?
> 
> Point taken. Ratites will vary their diet slightly in the wild, I would 
> assume, 
> in accordance with environmental changes. 

I am given to understand that wild ostriches are something close to 'if
they can swallow it, they'll eat it'.

> My concern for the previous statements was that you appeared to be
> lumping even high-metabolic animals like the big cats together in your
> idea of carnivores being not-so-smart. 

Terrestrial carnivory doesn't encourage a wide suite of behaviours that
can be co-opted to generalized problem solving for whatever class of
problems; that's not to say that the suites of behaviours associated
with it aren't *capable* ones, but only that they don't appear to
generalize well.

> Cats are among the most intelligent hunters on earth.

Sure; but my point is that the good problem solvers tend to be critters
that have varied feeding environments and widely varied foodstuffs,
which are in turn generally omnivorous.

> But even birds are smarter than most people give them credit, outside
> of ornithology. My only problem was with any type of statement
> demeaning carnivore intelligence. Sure, Velociraptor probably wasn't
> able to pick a lock. But organized hunting tactics, I believe was a
> fundamental asset, as is with most group hunters.

Sure; capable behaviour.  Just don't expect it to readily *extend*
beyond those hunting tactics, is what I'm saying.

Are there any identified-as-omnivorous theoropods that aren't
ostrich-dinos?

-- 
                           graydon@dsl.ca
               To maintain the end is to uphold the means.