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

Re: Size of *Neoceratodus africanus* and/or *N. tuberculatus*

"I'm only arguing against the hypothesis that spinosaurids were
specialized piscivores, or even that fish (including giant lungfish)
were even a major part of their diet."

I suppose the bottom line is, why were animals as large as spinosaurs
possessed of such an unusual head/neck morphology? Pretty much every
other group of large theropods has robust skulls adapted to either
hacking/slashing or gouging/crushing - features suitable for big
predators taking big prey. Yet spinosaurs are virtually antithetical
to this arrangement, being large to very large predators that are very
ill-suited to taking large prey.

I'm not yet convinced that a generic diet of smaller animals
(dinosaurs, crocs, lizards, whatever) is sufficient to explain the
extreme development of the snout/neck traits seen in spinosaurs.
Plenty of other medium-smallish to medium-largish theropods must have
had broadly similar diets, yet never specialized in that way. And of
course they don't seem to have reached such stupendous proportions on
those diets, either. I would strongly suspect that, at the very least,
the taking of aquatic prey was an important driver in spinosaur
evolution, even if other prey types continued to be imporant food