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Re: Tyrannosaurs and Hyenas

--- Sim Koning <simkoning@msn.com> wrote:

>   I know this is probably old news for most of you,
> but I watched the 
> discovery channel documentary on T-rex and read
> Horner's book and wanted to 
> write some of my feeling on the matter of
> scavenging. I'm new here, so let 
> me know if this is something people are tired of
> discussing.

Well, I'm not tired of discussing. IN fact I've
written a script called T-Rex: Ravager or Scavenger
that PROOVES, yes prooves, that T-Rex was not
exclusivly a scavenger. The artist, (it's being done
first as a comic book) is slow so don't expect it on
the shelf too soon. 
>   Those in favor of a scavenging life style for
> tyrannosaurs often draw a 
> comparison between tyrannosaurids and hyaenids.
> While it is true that 2 of 
> the 4 hyaenid species are mostly scavengers, the
> largest member of the 
> family, the spotted hyena, is considered by many to
> be the most effective 
> and most intelligent predator in Africa. The 2
> scavenging species, the brown 
> and striped hyena, are not purely carnivorous. Both
> scavenging species are 
> actually opportunistic omnivores that supplement
> their diets with fruits, 
> vegetables and insects. The brown hyena also
> represents the largest land 
> animal that lives primarily on carrion and it is
> smaller than the spotted 
> hyena. Is it realistic to claim that a Tyrannosaurus
> could live primarily on 
> carrion when it was one of the largest land
> carnivores in the history of the 
> planet, not to mention one of the largest animals in
> its ecosystem!
>   It is worth mentioning that the suspected
> tyrannosaur coprolite is filled 
> with undigested bone fragments. Hyenas, as an
> adaptation for scavenging, can 
> consume and completely digest bone. The fact that
> tyrannosaurs lacked the 
> ability to digest bone (like owls) suggests that
> they were not specialized 
> scavengers. Though they may have chewed smaller
> animals and certain body 
> parts, I doubt that they made a habit out of
> swallowing large chunks of bone 
> unless they were able to regurgitate them later. The
> only large land 
> vertebrates that live entirely on carrion are
> vultures and other scavenging 
> birds. Since these birds fly and are often much
> smaller than the predators 
> of their ecosystem, they are hardly analogous to
> giant 6 ton bipedal 
> theropods.

Even vultures will kill if they have to. Saw this with
my own eyes once. 
> Now I respect John Horner, but I just don't
> understand why he keeps pushing 
> the scavenger hypothesis when so many facts are
> against it. Tyrannosaurus is 
> one the most important fossils because it inspires
> the minds of children and 
> gets them interested in science. Is there really a
> point in trying to turn 
> what was a fast and powerful predator into a
> lumbering scavenger if there is 
> no real evidence for it?

None of his arguments stand up to scrutiny. I too
respect the man but I think this argument does a bit
of a disservice. Most of my non dino obsessed friends,
will call them civilions, always ask the same
question. Was T-Rex really just a scavenger. No, I say
calmly, and they I explain why. 

I'm considering selling unpublished script for cheap
on line if anyone is interested.

Andrew Simpson
> Simeon Koning
> Don?t just search. Find. Check out the new MSN
> Search! 

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