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Purple Paleo Prose Down Under

Depending on what the article mean't by "well
muscled-in teeth" and their actual morphology,
"slicing crests" on molars aren't necessarily an
indication of carnivory, since this is the condition
found in many bovid molars like those of goats and
deer. It doesn't mean they couldn't have sliced flesh,
but they're nothing like what you find in Thylacoleo
and other presumed marsupial carnivores. The skull
shown in the photo also didn't have "wolf-like fangs",
just a greatly extended lower incisor(s) that could
have served to scrape on bark or other plant
materials. To seize prey orally you need teeth that
aren't just pointed but also more or less
perpendicular to the axes of the u. and l. jaw. The
news article also makes the assumption that
quadrupedalism equals predation; why wouldn't a
leaping macropodid with well developed foreclaws be
just as effective, if not more so, in chasing down
fast-moving prey moving the same way? The DDD sounds
pretty intriguing-- I've known some pretty nasty (and
carnivorous) Muscovy Ducks these might have been
convergent on....

Mark Hallett 
--- Allan Edels <edels@msn.com> wrote:

> >From Yahoo:
> Killer kangaroo, demon duck of doom roamed Outback
> Wed Jul 12, 3:15 AM ET
> SYDNEY (Reuters) - Forget cute, cuddly marsupials. A
> team of Australian 
> paleontologists say they have found the fossilized
> remains of a fanged 
> killer kangaroo and what they describe as a "demon
> duck of doom."
> A University of New South Wales team said the
> fearsome fossils were among 20 
> previously unknown species uncovered at a site in
> northwest Queensland 
> state.
> Professor Michael Archer said on Wednesday the
> remains of a meat-eating 
> kangaroo with wolf-like fangs were found as well as
> a galloping kangaroo 
> with long forearms that could not hop like a modern
> kangaroo.
> "Because they didn't hop, these were galloping
> kangaroos, with big, powerful 
> forelimbs. Some of them had long canines (fangs)
> like wolves," Archer told 
> Australian Broadcasting Corp radio.
> Vertebrate paleontologist Sue Hand said modern
> kangaroos look almost nothing 
> like their ferocious forebears, which lived between
> 10 million and 20 
> million years ago.
> The species found at the dig had "well muscled-in
> teeth, not for grazing. 
> These things had slicing crests that could have
> crunched through bone and 
> sliced off flesh," Hand said.
> The team also found prehistoric lungfish and large
> duck-like birds.
> "Very big birds ... more like ducks, earned the name
> 'demon duck of doom', 
> some at least may have been carnivorous as well,"
> Hand told ABC radio.
> Archer said the team was studying the fossils to
> better understand how they 
> were affected by changing climates in the Miocene
> epoch between 5 million 
> and 24 million years ago.
> ================================================
> Since this concerns birds (carnivorous at that),
> I've made the dinosaur 
> connection for this post! :-)
> The accompanying photo shows the skull of the Roo -
> and states that they are 
> from 23-29 mya.
> Allan Edels

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