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Re: Limusaurus Inextricabilis

On Mon, Jun 22nd, 2009 at 10:59 AM, Augusto Haro wrote:

> Thank you for the data. Regarding lethality of splints of bone,
> according to Wings (2007), ostriches can eat and destroy glass in
> their stomach without suffering from cuts. In any case, I suppose
> hyaenas and other bone-crackers may face similar problems.

I get the impression that most bone-eating mammals have the dental equipment to 
grind and 
splinter bone into small enough pieces that they don't need especially tough 
stomach linings. Most 
mammalian carnivores tend to have relatively simple digestive systems, so the 
chewing phase is 
no-doubt a very important part of the digestive process. Cooked bones 
complicate matters for 
dogs and cats though, since they have different fracture patterns to fresh 
bone, and can cause 
internal bleeding in the worst cases. Cooked bone may not disolve as readily as 
raw bones either.

Archosaurs that swallow bones whole but don't chew, such as crocodilians and 
lammergeiers, tend 
to have outrageously powerful stomach acids. No doubt their stomach linings are 
a lot tougher than 
the average mammalian stomach too - crocs will swallow a herbivore's severed 
head with apparent 
relish, despite the pointed horns.

So although sharp bone splints might be a problem to our sensitive mammalian 
stomaches, the 
much tougher digestive systems of dinosaurs might have had no problem with them 
(if crocs and 
vultures are anything to go by).


Dann Pigdon
GIS / Archaeologist                Australian Dinosaurs
Melbourne, Australia               http://home.alphalink.com.au/~dannj