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Re: Tyrannosaurid Growth Spurts



    Are any modern flightless birds carnivorous (in the sense of eating
large prey)? Kiwis and probably steamer ducks are
small-invertebrate-ivorous, emus and ostriches will eat pretty much anything
that can fit down their throats (up to, and including, rocks), but I don't
think any of them eat anything that they can't swallow in one gulp. Weka
might be willing to tackle relatively larger things (such as rats), but
still nothing anywhere near body size.
    Amongst the reluctant fliers ("I prefer to walk, thank you"), I think
secretary birds and bustards tackle small vertebrates only. Amongst
competent fliers but also competent walkers, marabous and adjutants might
scavenge big animals, but live prey is again, strictly small.
    So all the big predatory flightless birds appear to be dead. Mene, mene,
tekel upharsin...

    Cheers,

        Christopher Taylor

On 17/8/04 10:05 am, "John Hunt" <john.bass@ntlworld.com> wrote:

> Dann Pigdon dannj@alphalink.com.au wrote:
>> Wedge-tailed eagles (a member of the golden eagle family) in Australia
>> will attack animals of greater mass than themselves (small wallabies,
>> kangaroo joeys). Of course they are incabable of flying off with their
>> kill if it weighs much more than they do. Wedgies tend to spend a lot of
>> time scavenging from larger carcasses anyway, and you will often see
>> them by the roadside feeding on road-kill 'roos.
>> 
> I guess the ability to fly away with kills probably discourages birds of prey
> from taking large prey.  Are there any analogies
> amongst extant flightless birds?
> 
>