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Re: Alvarezsaurs, their snout,myrmecophages and woodpeckers



At 05:53 PM 19/09/02 +0000, Brian Lauret wrote:

Hi y'all
There's something that always puzzles me.Maybe it's just me being silly but I wonder: Is it realistic to illustrate all of those myrmecophagous (except Rapator perhaps,it seems a bit to large for such a diet) alvarezsaurs with snouts just like typical theropods while all living myrmecophages (with the exception of aardwolf,sloth bear and marsupial anteater,wich seem to be pretty primitive in their specialisation anyway)have their jaws stuck for the greatest part in a sort of skin presumably to create a tube for the tongue.Surely alvarezsaurs have been around for a long time so they surely had the timeframe to evolve into specialised myrmecophages.

Actually, I think it is quite realistic to illustrate them in this way, because although there are many birds that specialize in eating ants, none of them have a tube-like mouth. In fact, not all ant-eating mammals do either (the numbat of Australia is an example).


And regarding animals with these diets,i wish to mention I think woodpeckers are the avian equivalent of animals like pangolins and anteaters. It seems strange to me we only used to have those big-ass woodpeckers like the Ivorybill in regions without large myrmecophagous mammals (in such relatively ant-less regions flight might be a nessecary equipment for myrmecophages of this scale)and small woodpeckers in areas that do have those while the largest members of a particular birdclade are usually the tropical ones.Woodpeckers do have those extremely long tongues and such..........just a thought.
Correct me if I'm wrong.

Well, I'm sorry to say this, but you are wrong. Ant-eating birds coexist with ant-eating mammals in many parts of the world; for example, flickers coexist with ant eaters in South America, many species of woodpecker coexist with pangolins in Southeast Asia, and the Australian treecreepers, some of which are ant specialists, coexist with the numbat in Australia.



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Ronald I. Orenstein Phone: (905) 820-7886
International Wildlife Coalition Fax/Modem: (905) 569-0116
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