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----- Original Message -----
From: "Sim Koning" <email@example.com>
Sent: Sunday, February 05, 2006 8:43 AM
I think you may have missed Dann's post on parrots such as the Kea. I
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
But then, the kea has a long, curved, pointed, separately mobile upper bill,
unlike any oviraptorosaur for which enough of the skull is known.
A parrot's beak is designed to crush
things so that is can get to whatever is inside.
The function of peeling fruits and seeds is at least as important. (And it's
one that I can't imagine an oviraptorosaur doing.)
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.
Oviraptorosaur skulls do look a lot weaker, but the lack of a beak in hyenas
is probably entirely meaningless -- therian mammals (marsupials, placentals
etc.) are most likely incapable of evolving a beak because they've lost the
caruncle (the keratinous non-egg-tooth).
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.
It depends mostly on how you define "bird". But we can tell for sure that
oviraptorosaurs are outside Neornithes, the group that includes all birds
living today; so if today's birds all do one thing, that's no evidence for
the idea that oviraptorosaurs didn't do something completely different.