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

--- On Mon, 3/30/09, Augusto Haro <augustoharo@gmail.com> wrote:

> True, Don. But conical teeth and increase in range of
> potential prey
> size would not imply the biggest spinosaurids ate tetrapods
> comparable
> in size to themselves. 

Agreed. I adhere to the commonly expressed idea that conical teeth rule (much) 
larger-than-bite-size prey _out_, at least in the case where skull engineering 
obviates violent shaking/twisting, and skin and connective tissues are strong 
enough to present a significant challenge. The latter of which would seem to be 
the case w/ herbivorous dinosaurs. 

I don't know about Drew's idea of using claws for more than simple 
evisceration. Seems a little iffy, but this is mostly speculation anyway. 

Maybe claws would work. Plus, a small-ish sauropod would have a large organ 
mass, which alone might make it worthwhile as prey choice. Perhaps Spino, et. 
al., ate the viscera first and waited a few days for the rest to 'soften up'. 

That would explain how a spinosaurid w/ conical teeth could exploit a sauropod, 
which of course is a MUCH different matter than explaining how a spinosaurid 
got so big while equipped w/ conical teeth.