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Predation in fossil record?



Hi all,

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.

Bruce

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