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Re: Majungatholus: Apparent Cannibal




A few snippets from the paper:

"Data from three separate bonebeds indicate that _Majungatholus atopus_ regularly defleshed dinosaur carcasses. The main focus seems to have been along the axial column, although appendicular elements such as the sauropod pubis in quarry MAD93-18 also show evidence of concerted effort."

So _Majungatholus_ had a preference for sauropod sirloin and tenderloin. Extra rare.

"There is also indication that Majungatholus atopus fed upon the remains of its own dead, and thus supplemented its diet via cannibalism."

However... "Whether _Majungatholus_ killed both individuals [of its own species] and thus practiced intraspecific predation, or opportunistically scavenged their remains, is unknown."

Thus, _Majungatholus_ may or may not have *targeted* living members of its own species. (Conspecific predation would be indicated by re-healed scars on _Majungatholus_ bones that were inflicted by _Majungatholus_ teeth but were not fatal.)

Finally, as Rob Gay has mentioned once or twice on the DML:

The most celebrated example of a dinosaur cannibal is the Triassic theropod _Coelophysis bauri_, ... Juvenile _Coelophysis_ bones traditionally interpreted as an ingested meal may lie stratigraphically at least partially below the rib cage of the proposed cannibal (as opposed to within), and the volume of the purportedly ingested material may exceed reasonable estimates of stomach capacity.



Tim

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