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Re: T rex bites your bum

----- Original Message -----
From: "Richard W. Travsky" <rtravsky@uwyo.edu>
To: <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Sent: Monday, May 23, 2005 12:10 AM
Subject: Re: T rex bites your bum

> On Sun, 22 May 2005, John Hunt wrote:
> > Well tail actually.
> >
> > Just seen this:
> >
> >
> > ld/state/30-dino.inc
> >
> > Is there a paper?
> >
> > Could it be we are starting to collect evidence for tyrannosaurs biting
> > hadrosaur tails and waiting for shock and blood loss to bring the
> > down?
> I like this quote:
>  "Paleontology is entering a new era where we're actually looking at
>  forensic techniques," he said.
> CSI: Mesozoic!

Is that duckbill DMNH 1943? That one gets mentioned in Kenneth Carpenter's
"Evidence of predatory behaviour by carnivorous dinosaurs" 1998 paper, which
I found particulary interesting since it corresponds with some thought I had
when I first started to take a closer look at Theropod teeth: They all (?)
had those serrated teeth. No doubt the serrations are helpfull for cutting,
or sawing, through meat. At the same time they make excellent incubators for
a large variety of infectous bacteria. Varanus comodoensis has been reported
to hunt faster, large prey (such as deer and wild pigs) by ambushing it and
most of the time scoring just a single bite. Afterwards the monitor lizard
would just follow it's victim, sometimes for days, until shock, blood loss
and the infection did the job. I heard of a case of a man who was bitten and
the multiple infection couldnt be cured even using modern antibiotica - the
guy died of it in a hospital!
I wouldnt propose that style of hunting for the majority of theropods
though, but it makes sense at least for the larger, slower species. If the
ambush didnt work out, they would just relax and follow the trail of the
wounded animal for some time, "knowing" that if their prey wouldnt die as
direct result of their attack they would at least have a "second chance"
once they managed to catch up with their victim. DMNH 1943 must have had a
lot of luck that the infection didnt get fatal after a short time AND the
predator apparently didnt manage to catch up with it.