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RE: Phorusrhacids killing large mammals in National Geographic Channel
John Scanlon wrote:
> Bringing up Gastornis/Diatryma beak
> shape and diet automatically involves
> dromornithids, which are similar - weakly or non-hooked
> bill, but large head
> and powerful bite - and possibly related.
Yes, in recent analyses both gastornithids and dromornithids have come out as
galloanserine birds. They may even be true anseriforms.
> Whenever we find
> remains they are associated with abundant gastroliths,
> which (as far as I'm
> aware, please correct me if you know different!) indicate
> predominant herbivory.
This issue is a little complicated, because _Baryonyx_, _Lourinhanosaurus_, and
_Poekilopleuron_ have gastroliths, and these large tetanurans have been
regarded as predators. Then again, maybe these theropods included plant matter
in their diets as well? In light of _Limusaurus_, the herbivorous ceratosaur,
anything is possible.
> Also, I learned some stuff about cassowaries on TV last
I saw the same documentary, and was impressed at how much new stuff I learned.
It also featured some nice footage of an adult cassowary leaping up to grab at
a cluster of large fruit with its beak. But the near-featherless cassowary was
not a good look. It was hard not to feel sorry for the old matriarch...