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Re: beaks, teeth, gastroliths, unzipper-foot-claws



Truth for the idea that phorusrhacids resemble more the Steller's
eagle than the parrot because of the long beak, even if both have
downcurved tips. This suggests the combination of characters, and not
one character on itself, like the downcurved tip or the lenght of the
beak, is more likely to suggest the habits of the bird. I believe more
in the carnivorous hypothesis, but the anterior and upwards directed
tip of the lower jaw reminds me of some (apparent) beaked herbivores
as psittacosaurs more than of raptorial birds. Unless the "killing
bite" idea of Raptorial talon is accepted, which seems very appealing
to me.
In addition, to further complicate the matters, there are aquatic
turtles without a pointed tip in the beak who also seem to hunt prey
exceeding the size of their gape:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8rU-bLYM7Y

At least to me, beaks seem to be very difficult to interpret in
relation to feeding habits sometimes... Regardless of pigeons and
parrots having very different beaks, and a larger bite force in the
latter, here in Argentina they both eat some of the same grains...