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RE: Oviraptor=Parrot?



Sim Koning wrote-

I just watched the Discovery channel documentary 'Dinosaur Planet' and noticed that once again, the Oviraptor is portrayed as a vicious predator competing with Velociraptor. I don't really understand this view, because to me, Oviraptors have always appeared highly convergent with parrots. Since we don't exactly see parrots competing with eagles for food, why is it they are viewed as predators? The question is what were they eating? Is there any fossil evidence of any hard shell nuts, fruits, or seeds from that time period? On the above mentioned show, they brought up the fact that there appear to be too many predators in that area at the same time. My thoughts are that it's not really a problem at all, that Oviraptor, like Therizinosaurus, is another Maniraptorian form that evolved to be a herbivorous animal.

A lizard was found in the stomach area of the Oviraptor holotype (Norell et al., 1995), so oviraptorids were at least partially carnivorous. Then there are the juvenile Byronosaurus heads preserved in the Citipati nest (Norell et al., 1994), which are certainly suggestive of carnivorous behavior. Gastroliths were found in the basal oviraptorosaur Caudipteryx (Ji et al., 1998), but they're also present in definitively carnivorous megalosauroids. Regardless, I'd agree the jaws of oviraptorosaurs suggest they were doing something different in regards to eating.


Mickey Mortimer