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Re: JFC-Bloodiest Battle ??
> Given the lack of similarity between theropods and living
> terrestrial vertebrates,
This statement of course excludes Birds.
We can definitively state we know of a therepod that is a primary scavenger-> a
vulture, but this isn't applicable to allosaurs for obvious reasons.
> It would not surprise me that they are making
> livings in ways unlike anything around now, including a life based
> primarily on scavenging. As Peter Dodson once wrote "let dinosaurs
> be dinosaurs."
As far as scavengers go, I can't think of many scavengers today. Aside from
vultures, scavenging seems to be a secondary behavior. Hyena's are well known
for scavenging, but hunt as well (vulture hunting being very rare).
Hyena + Vulture scavenging typically relys on a larger predator(or in a
vultures case, a car+roadkil) to kill the prey first. If Allosaurus wasn't
taking down the saurpods, what was? if nothing was, what was it scavenging? or
did it go for smaller prey.
Large animals typically have much lower mortality rates, I doubt an allosaurus
(unless it could become facultatively cold blooded to lower energy
requirements)could sit around and wait for sauropods to get sick/old/injured
and die before eating them, it must have had another food source.
Do you presume it primarily scavenged smaller animals and bullied smaller
predators away from their kills - like a pack of hyenas often will "steal
kills"(substituting size for numbers)?
Seagulls will "scavenge" a lot, particularly around humans, but also hunt
rather well.(once again, this scavenging presumes a food source - is there any
Hyenas, Seagulls, etc seem to be generalist feeders. Allosaurus doesn't scream
"generalist" at me.
Of course Dinosaurs got way bigger than anything on land today, and many things
don't scale well(arthropods for example), so it isn't right to just take a role
today, and apply it to an animal much larger. A 6 foot bumblebee like
pollenator would be ridiculous for example.
Likewise, caveman hunters running Mammoths off a clif to their death couldn't
scale down to work with extremely small species (generically: "bugs"), as the
fall wouldn't kill them(or they would be able to scale the cliff like many
lizards and squirrels/rodents).
Increased size and weight may open up new niches (while closing others),
particularly for predation. An animal could be so big it could barely stand
under its own weight, allowing for a much less agile predator, or a reduction
in its ability to defend itself (there has to be a point where increasing size
stops decreasing vulerability to a given predator)
Size doesn't change everything, but it does change a lot.
Given some sauropods rivaled whales in size, it might be worth looking at
whales as a food source.
I know of no obligate whale scavenger... there are interesting video's on
youtube of a bunch of great whites eating a whale carcass- devouring it real
fast, but it is well known their primary food source is from predation of much
As to regular whale predation, (Megaladon aside), the only examples I know of
involve a few killer whales going for juvenile whales.
I have to ask, does anyone know the relative size ratio of an Adult grey whale
vs a typical sauropod of its time, and the ratio of an Orca vs a typical Adult
If we look at much smaller terrestrial non-volant vertebrates we don't see
If we look at the only other ecosystem with animals of similar sizes, we don't
see primary scavengers OR hunters of full grown adults (except in rare cases).
Hunting juvenile sauropods seems the most likely to me.
Neither living example correlates well due to scale limitations, or the big
difference between terrestrial and aquatic predator/prey niches.