[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

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
> dromornithid
> 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
> night

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...