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Re: Phorusrhacids killing large mammals in National Geographic Channel
Cathartids can resist carrion much more rotten than other animals do,
so I suppose they may have an inmune system with much more resistance
to bacterial infections than, say, a lion or a human. Admitting
phorusrhacids were carrion-eaters, as suggested by the fact that the
very similar beak of the Steller's eagle overperforms that of other
eagles in ripping appart corpses, one should suppose, in principle,
that phorusrhacids should not have much more to fear from infections
than the carnivorous mammals living along with them.
Considering seriemas fight small lepidosaurs and mice in the tropics,
where the lepidosaurs are more active, they would be expected to
receive some cuts from these fast little critters which bite. I
suppose they have to had some inmune resistance, also.