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Mike Keesey wrote:
> Or just among maniraptorans in general. Not many avians are
> hypercarnivorous, either.
Yes, true. But archaeopterygids may have been, so I thought I'd limit my
generalization to non-avian maniraptorans.
> And the sister group group of maniraptorans,
> _Ornithomimosauria_, was also noncarnivorous, so it's more or less a
> maniraptoriform trend.
Again true. I avoided citing "noncarnivory" as a maniraptoriform trend because
some phylogenetic analyses recover predatory theropods such as _Ornitholestes_,
compsognathids, and even tyrannosaurids inside Maniraptoriformes (i.e., closer
to birds than ornithomimosaurs are). And with _Deinocheirus_ close to - or
even at - the base of the Ornithomimosauria, you have to wonder now
ornithomimosaurs started out.
> Never thought of that -- the feathered clade is just a little bit
> larger than the multi-dieted clade.
It's something I've been thinking about for a while... ;-)
Evelyn Sobielski wrote:
>> Or just among maniraptorans in general. Not many avians are
>> hypercarnivorous, either.
> There are of course some borderline taxa like _Enaliornis_ and _Gansus_ which
> fall in the "large invertebrate - small vertebrate" feeding guild. But avian
> raptors - Falconiformes or not (_Enantiornis_ makes for a reasonably
> convincing predator of smaller vertebrates too) do not appear until the Late
There's _Boluochia_ of Early Cretaceous (Barremian) age, which had a hooked
beak and so might have been predatory.
Tom Holtz wrote:
> This was an important aspect of Lindsay Zanno's Romer Prize session talk at
> SVP, and I have alluded to this before as well. Of course, what we really
> need are very basal (Middle Jurassic, for instance) ornithomimosaurs,
> therizinosaurs, alvarezsaurs, and oviraptorosaurs to see if these guys
> inherited or convergently evolved their non-hypercarnivory.
Darn, wish I'd seen Lindsay's talk. (Sadly, I wasn't at SVP either, but
Bristol is looking promising.) Anyway, in the case of troodontids, if these
were non-hypercarnivorous, this was probably secondary given that _Sinovenator_
(the most basal known troodontid) was most like dromaeosaurids in its
ecomorphology. An omnivorous diet for _Troodon_ was proposed by... darn, who
was it?... oh that's right...
Holtz, T.R., Jr., Brinkman, D.L. and Chandler, C.L. (1998). Denticle
morphometrics and a possibly omnivorous feeding habit for the theropod dinosaur
_Troodon_. Gaia 15: 159-166.
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