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RE: Early mammals ate dinosaurs

Its because, rather than "pure" predator or scavenger,
animals are all opportunists :)

--- Richard Swigart <rswigart@yahoo.com> wrote:

> All,
> Eric Allen <erallen@yahoo.com> wrote:
> <snip> 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). <snip> 
> Regarding extant scavengers.  My professors taught
> that the only true extant scavengers were birds! 
> All other animals that would scavenge would do so as
> the oportunity presented itself; however, they are
> all primarily hunters.
> Soaring birds may be full time scavengers because
> they can cover so much territory with very little
> cost [flies use more energy, but there are so darn
> many of them].  A walking animal [including T. rex
> -- sorry Dr. Curry] trying to survive on scavenging
> is taking a huge risk that he/she will run across a
> dead carcass before he/she runs out of the energy
> the last carcass provided. 
> remember back when the scavenging hyenas were found
> so discussing -- until they were studied in depth;
> it turned out they killed a higher percent of their
> diet than Lions!
> My point [finally] is that the word scavenger should
> not be mistaken for a way of life [niche].  Just
> because you find remains of a scavenged meal inside
> an animal does not automaticall mean the animal is a
> "scavenger."  All, including us, will eat carcass
> meat if we can find a fresh carcass.  Europeans
> reported that Native Americans would search the
> rivers in spring to collect bison that had fallen
> through the ice and drowned -- and we are the
> predator supreme.
> Richard Swigart
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