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Re: Oviraptor=Parrot?

From: "Jaime A. Headden" <qilongia@yahoo.com>
Reply-To: qilongia@yahoo.com
To: dinosaur@usc.edu
CC: simkoning@msn.com
Subject: Re: Oviraptor=Parrot?
Date: Sat, 04 Feb 2006 15:48:10 -0800 (PST)

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.

I think you may have missed Dann's post on parrots such as the Kea. I wasn't aware that some parrot species are highly opportunistic and will eat just about anything, including live vertebrates! While the jaws of these birds are designed primarily for a herbivory, they can also be used for predation.


Also, note that oviraptorids are not parrots.

Duh =)

Of course I'm aware they are not parrots. However, parrots are dinosaurs and they do have a very similar skull design.


If you look close, you will notice that the jaw and beak design is rather similar to that of a parrot. Both animals have a palate that drops below the jaw line, both animals have the same decurved beak shape. A bird's beak is a tool, designed for a specific function. A parrot's beak is designed to crush things so that is can get to whatever is inside. Obviously this could apply to a large number of food items. As you mentioned, their environment was an arid one, and this could very well be an adaptation to break apart and consume food that would otherwise be impossible for other animals to eat.

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)

http://www.skullsunlimited.com/green-sea-turtle-skull.html http://www.skullsunlimited.com/hawksbill-sea-turtle-skull.html

The hawksbill is the closest thing I could find in similarity to an Oviraptor. I think there are far more morphological similarities with parrots then there are with sea turtles.

and hyeanas (who
have adapted to crunching on the foods they eat to derive the most from their

Since hyenas lack beaks and look nothing like an Oviraptor, I think it's safe to say that their diets were probably not all that similar.

durophage is to potentially ignore that oviraptorids are extinct, are not
birds, and we must stick to the morphological and taphonomic data.

Actually one could argue that Oviraptors are a flightless type of bird, depending at how you look at it I guess.

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