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Re: Tiny dinosaur on verge of swearing off meat



Quoting Janet m vandenburgh <van02@cox.net>:

> Tiny dinosaur on verge of swearing off meat
> 
> Thu Oct 23, 2008 7:13pm EDT
> 
> http://www.reuters.com/article/scienceNews/idUSTRE49M93Y20081023?feedType=nl

> CHICAGO (Reuters) - A rare juvenile skull of a 190 million-year-old dinosaur
> may help explain when an important group of plant eaters branched off from
> carnivorous cousins, U.S. and British researchers said on Thursday.
> 
> The tiny skull belonged to a young Heterodontosaurus...

Does the presence of fangs necessarily indicate carnivory to any degree? They'd 
have been just as 
useful for defense against predators in a fully-fledged herbivore.

Do heterodontosaur fangs have serrations? It'd seem odd for a dinosaur to 
possess canine-like (ie 
non-serrated) fangs specifically for eating meat, rather than the typical 
serrated blade-like teeth 
characteristic of theropods. Did the carnivorous ancestors of heteros also have 
'fangs'? If not, then 
they would appear to be an adaptation unique to heteros - therefore something 
that evolved 
through positive selection rather than something passively retained from their 
ancestors.

-- 
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Dann Pigdon
GIS / Archaeologist              http://geo_cities.com/dannsdinosaurs
Melbourne, Australia             http://heretichides.soffiles.com
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