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RE: Early mammals ate dinosaurs



Sorry for the confusion,  I didn't mean I thought the
pittacosaur was swallowed in one piece--only that with
the more articulated limb bones, that the mammal
didn't masticate the hunk-o-flesh before swallowing
but rather swallowed its food in large chunks. (more
like a crocodile--rip it up but don't chew it)
According to the article in this month's _Scientific
American_ which I just received in the mail 20
minuites ago, the pittacosaur's skull was about 1/3
the length of the _Repenomamus_.  as Jin Meng states
in the article: "'not just a snack' but a meal
challenging enough to discourage a casual diner..." 
The article addresses the idea that the dinosaur was
scavenged, but points out that scavengers are
relitavely rare in mammal species (at least extant
ones).  
I think the best quip I've heard related to this
discovery is from Spencer Lucas from New Mexico (also
printed in the SA article--last line infact) "...but
this shows mammals weren't above having a Dinosaur
McNugget."



--- Tim Williams <twilliams_alpha@hotmail.com> wrote:

> Eric Allen wrote:
> 
> >What I find interesting is that the _Repenomamus_
> >swallowed the psittacosaur without chewing it up.
> 
> Says the paper:
> 
> "The skull and most of the skeleton of the juvenile
> _Psittacosaurus_ are 
> broken, disarticulated and displaced, [snip]. A few
> long bones are preserved 
> in articulation (Fig. 3), suggesting that the
> juvenile _Psittacosaurus_ was 
> dismembered and swallowed as chunks."
> 
> This may imply some kind of buccal processing, or
> else its claws were used 
> to tear up the poor psittacosaur.  In either case,
> the psittacosaur was not 
> swallowed whole.



                
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