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RE: Turtles and dinosaur predators (Re: Oviraptorids as Parrots?)

Hmmm. That solves a lot of problems raised by Horner: T. rex as a
chelonivore! I like it! Quick, write a paper for Nature! Crushing teeth
for hard, thick shell; slow moving prey, so no need to run; no need to
use the puny arms........

Kenneth Carpenter, Ph.D.
Curator of Lower Vertebrate Paleontology/
Chief Preparator
Department of Earth Sciences
Denver Museum of Nature & Science
2001 Colorado Blvd.
Denver, CO 80205
Phone: 303-370-6392
Fax: 303-331-6492
for PDFs of some of my publications, as well as information of the Cedar
Mountain Project: 

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-dinosaur@usc.edu [mailto:owner-dinosaur@usc.edu] On Behalf
Of dannj@alphalink.com.au
Sent: Sunday, February 05, 2006 4:25 PM
Subject: Re: Turtles and dinosaur predators (Re: Oviraptorids as

On Sun, 05 Feb 2006 14:55:18 -0800 (pst), Phil Bigelow wrote
> To a tyrannosaur, chasing and eating a land tortoise is like a human 
> running-down and eating a pie that is sitting on a picnic table.
>  How did these (relatively immobile) land creatures avoid predators 
> with a bite force of over a ton per square inch?

Sam Neil wandered about the Cretaceous landscape, telling the tortoises
to 'stand still'. :)

Seriously -- you might as well ask how ostriches ever manage to incubate
their eggs, or how new-born gazelles don't all get found and eaten by

Predators tend to be pretty thin on the ground, so when you're a
small(ish) animal in a big landscape, the chances of a predator
happening to cross your path is probably fairly small. If the prey
species in question happened to look a lot like a rock, and spent a lot
of time staying still, even a Tyrannosaur who's vision isn't based
solely on movement (ie. almost certainly all of them) might not notice
the tortoise.


Dann Pigdon
GIS / Archaeologist         http://heretichides.soffiles.com
Melbourne, Australia        http://www.geocities.com/dannsdinosaurs