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Re: Venom in Sinornithosaurus
--- On Thu, 12/24/09, don ohmes <email@example.com> wrote:
> Assuming bipedal bodystyles can be shown in general to be
> associated w/ cursorial lifestyles; and that predatory
> envenomation strategies, and the presence of venom in
> vertebrates generally, is associated with slowness of
> locomotion* -- It is not obvious what combination of
> lifestyle and environment would be likely to elicit
> cursorial locomotion and a venom system in a predator
> simultaneously. It also seems intuitively unlikely that a
> fit cursorial predator would evolve an effective venom
> system, at least not w/out some loss of locomotive fitness.
Actually vipers are the only venomous vertebrate group that I can think of,
that show an association of venom with a slow and "sluggish" lifestyle (hmm, I
suppose lionfish do too, though that's a bit different). The other major
venomous snake group (Elapidae) is composed of cursorial animals.
The point of venom is not always to keep prey from getting away. One of its
main advantages is that it reduces the ability of prey to fight back, thus
reducing potential injury to the predator.