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RE: T. rex's vision as SUPPORT for scavenging activitiy...
Don Ohmes wrote:
Any candidates for the role of volant scavenger(s) co-existing with T. rex?
A scavenging lifestyle was suggested for _Quetzalcoatlus_ back in the
1970's, when this flying beastie was first described. But as I learned from
Darren Naish's blog...
... the evidence to support a scavenger lifestyle for _Qutzalcoatlus_ and
other azhdarchids is very weak.
I'd bet dollars to donuts that one day a Mesozoic bird (probably an
enantiornithean) turns up with characters consistent with specialist
Considering the sheer bulk of many dinosaur carcasses around in the Jurassic
and Cretaceous, scavenging seems like too good a niche to pass up. Of
course, it helps to have a strong digestive system.
IF there is the presence of a population of volant scavengers, then timely
visual cues (eg, circling vultures) to any local large animal death exist,
and are detectable from distances up to 40 miles in an open environment.
AFAIK, nobody has suggested that tyrannosaurs could fly. Apart from George
Olshevsky, that is. :-)
From: don ohmes <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: don ohmes <email@example.com>
Subject: T. rex's vision as SUPPORT for scavenging activitiy...
Date: Mon, 03 Jul 2006 13:13:37 -0700 (PDT)
In my opinion-- obligate scavenger is not the most probable lifestyle for
T. rex, and there are strong arguments for a top predator lifestyle, as
well some against the obligate scavenger hypothesis. That said, there is no
doubt that the ability to scavenge/co-opt fortuitous mortalities in the
local large animal population is potentially advantageous for top
The ability to detect fortuitous mortality in a timely fashion is obviously
critically important to efficient utilization of such resources, and any
sense used for detection is therefore subject to strong directional
selection. IF there is the presence of a population of volant scavengers,
then timely visual cues (eg, circling vultures) to any local large animal
death exist, and are detectable from distances up to 40 miles in an open
Given the large size of resource animals extant in the Cretaceous, a
relatively large time window for utilization would exist. An open
environment, very large animals, and volant scavengers seems like an ideal
recipe for evolving keen (ie, long-range) daytime vision in a large
I don't know if this has been addressed before, in print. If it has, sorry
about the lack of reference.