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Re: Huge Freakin' Snake!



Dann Pigdon said:

> As David Marjanovic pointed out; modern snakes don't have large theropods or 
> marine reptiles to
> contend with. The difference between an anaconda and a jaguar is only minor 
> by comparison.

Difference in what sense? size, I suppose? Are you supposing that a
snake the size of a theropod would be outcompeted while considering a
snake the size of a jaguar lives along with the jaguar without being
outcompeted? In such a case, why would they be outcompeted by a
similarly sized theropod and not by a similar sized Carnivora?

Or are you talking about some kind of unlikeliness of the development
of the snake to reach the size of a big theropod when compared to
reaching the size of the jaguar (which, as is closer to the sivza of
most boas, is easier to acquire)? In this latter case, it has little
to do with competition.


> Competition is certainly about more than shared prey items.

Agreed.

> One species can out-compete another
> simply by keeping it out of prime habitat.

That seems to be difficult to prove. As far as I know, jaguars dwell
in the same microhabitats anacondas can do (trees, river, soil of the
forest) yet they do not keep them out of prime habitat. And how do you
keep another thing out of their prime habitat? I suppose via
competition for resource, contamination by one species to which the
other species is sensitive (Penicillium and bacteriae), or open
interespecific violence (may be other ways, but I do not mind them by
now).

We discussed the first case, the second seems weird for carnivorous
vertebrates, and I have no reason why to think theropods would be any
more violently damaging to a snake their same size than the snake
against the theropod. If you are thinking of theropods larger than
snakes, then large felids commonly kill small felids in nature when
they can, yet felids of different sizes still live one at the side of
the other. There are pythons at the savannah which would seem easy to
be killed by lion prides, yet they are not displaced.