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Re: A "new" theory on Oviraptor philoceratops (I think)



Mike Keesey (mightyodinn@yahoo.com) wrote:

<Just to play Devil's advocate, though -- couldn't it be argued that there
were greater quantites of large eggs present during the Mesozoic (the
dominant megafauna being oviparous dinosaurs, rather than viviparous
therians)?
 
Even so, though, it's a good point that eggs would very likely only be
available seasonally.>

  Indeed, and this is a the biggest caveat for inferring diet in _any_
animal: it is not likely that an animal, even one so specialized for a
particular food, does not occassionally or of neccessity partake of
something else. There is not one animal today that, to my knowledge, eats
only _one_ thing, else it may die. Dietary specializations are an
exaptation in a vacuum, and tend to force an animal to extinction when
change occurs that effects its diet, which is why omnivores are so
favored. Yet oviraptorosaurs prospered and exapted their jaws over 40 mya,
and it is unlikely they ate _only_ eggs, at any given point, especially
with positive evidence that they did not, as Tom Holtz recently pointed
out (I have not heard of this find, however), and they have been known to
apparently raid nests of hatchlings, rather than just eggs, of other carnivores.

=====
Jaime A. Headden

  Little steps are often the hardest to take.  We are too used to making leaps 
in the face of adversity, that a simple skip is so hard to do.  We should all 
learn to walk soft, walk small, see the world around us rather than zoom by it.

"Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)

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