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RE: Bone-eating (was RE: T.rex was a "chicken")



Guy Leahy wrote:


> Bone cracking capabilities also independently developed in
> two lineages of late Cenozoic Canidiae in North America
> (hesperocyonines and borophagines).  


Bone-cracking has also been proposed for the extinct Alaskan subspecies of the 
gray wolf (Leonard et al., 2007; Curr. Biol. 17: 1146-1150).  This east 
Beringian ecomorph of _Canis lupus_ had deeper, shorter jaws, and larger 
carnassials than the modern grey wolf.  The authors suggest it preyed on 
mammoths and other megafauna, and could crack open their bones for the marrow. 


> Interestingly,
> both lineages also exhibit a zigzag pattern of crystalline
> fibers in the enamel which increased the enamel's
> strength.  I wonder if any theropods had such an enamel
> pattern?


Large dinosaur bones would seem to be an attractive resource for Mesozoic 
carnivores.  Maybe pterosaurs carried them off and dropped them from great 
heights to crack them open, lammergeier-style.


Perhaps the best candidates for bone-cracking among non-avian theropods were 
the toothless oviraptorids?  I know basal oviraptorosaurs were probably 
herbivorous, but if oviraptorids were omnivores, then it's possible they went 
after the bones left behind by other theropods.  It all depends on how strong 
and stress-resistant the oviraptorid skull was.  


Cheers

Tim