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Re: Shark eating dino fossil found in Utah

Colin McHenry wrote:

Good suggestion - potentially important if the fish were getting too large to be swallowed whole. I imagine that a ~1m semiootid could be a bit of a mouthfull for a Dilophosaurus sized animal? Processing food via hands and arms would free the skull from the need to handle food processing forces, potentially allowing the skull to be optimised for prey capture. Or perhaps the forelimbs could play a role in that as well (c.f. the bear and salmon analogy).

Yeah, it goes to the whole 'division of labour' thing. The beauty of being a biped is that the jaws and forelimbs can become differentially specialized for certain roles in predation: prey capture, or for the manipulation or processing of prey, for example. The hindlimbs can become specialized too to some degree, such as in deinonychosaurs.

The other advantage to being a fish-eating biped is that, after catching a fish, the theropod can brag to his friends "I caught a fish THIS big" - and show them exactly how big!



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