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Re: Oviraptor=Parrot?

Sim Koning (simkoning@msn.com) wrote:

<Based on the facts, Oviraptors do seem to be highly convergent with parrots
after all. As Dann has pointed out, parrots can be highly effective omnivores.
It would seem that Oviraptors were probably capable of eating just about
anything. This would explain the lizard found in the stomach of one specimen.
I'm guessing that their diet probably consisted of carrion, fruit, leaves,
eggs, shellfish, insects, small vertebrates and baby dinosaurs. Well I guess
that answers my question!  thanks  for the information everybody =)>

  It was actually my argument that we don't know all the facts to make any
declarative statement about WHAT they ate, but the proposed omnivore model HAS
been in print, aside from the egg-eating, oyster-crunching, and predatorial
models. Also note that the environment these animals lived in was arid and
tending to be devoid in the kind of environment than such things as enough
plentiful fruits are unlikely to sustain thousands of oviraptorids at once, so
diet was likely to be at least somewhat opprtunistic than it was for parrots. 

  Also, note that oviraptorids are not parrots. 

  More data on the disposition of the holotype of *Oviraptor philoceratops* has
not been forthcoming, and the possibility of diet has not been borne out by
extensive tests on the structure and mechanism as well as force-moderating
aspects of the jaws. Then again, also note that the legs in most oviraptorids
are very nearly identical in proportion to those of dromaeosaurids, and if one
confers a fast-running mode for the latter, can we not apply the same for the
former? I find the idea of the wolf-like predator unlikely, since neither
dromaeosaurids nor oviraptorids possess particularly cursorial limbs. Also, the
forelimbs while short tend also to be very robust and these animals had the
largest hands and claws than any other theropods save therizinosaurs and
carnosaurs. An adaptive dietary consideration needs to take more into account
than just the head's similarity to one group of birds. There are other possible
similar animals that may be worth considering, such as turtles (marine turtles
are crustacean- and mollusk-feeders which will also eat fish) and hyeanas (who
have adapted to crunching on the foods they eat to derive the most from their
feeding). Durophagy is a complex aspect of diet, and to simply chose one ideal
durophage is to potentially ignore that oviraptorids are extinct, are not
birds, and we must stick to the morphological and taphonomic data.


Jaime A. Headden

"Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)

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