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Predation in fossil record?
The current flap over Horner's " Big Stinky Scavenging T.rex" claim got me
to thinking. Apart from the "fighting dinos" and the munched Edmontosaur who
lived to talk about it, what other evidence of actual hunting behavior is
there in the fossil record? If there were not extant examples of wolves,
lions, tigers (insert name of any predatory animal here) etc., how would we
"know" that they hunted at all? How would we know if an animal scavenged
without reference to living examples? Dentition certainly indicates diet,
but perhaps not neccesarilly means of acquiring food. Can these be
distinguished in the fossilsl? Much of Horner's assertion for scavenging
seems to be based on personal incredulity (arms, eyes seem to him to be too
small to be used for hunting) rather than evidence. I would think that the
best you could doin the absence of evidence for a fossil creature's behavior
would be to say you're not able to decide which was used.
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