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Re: carnivorous hippos = omnivorous ceratopsians etc
GS Paul <email@example.com> wrote:
> Because many ornthischians had sharp beaks, some with anterior teeth,
> and shearing dental batteries there was nothing to prevent them
> from being scavangers like suids. This best applies to ceratoposians
> and especially ceratopsids with their parrot beaks to rip out chuncks of
> flesh and scissor like dental batteries to slice it up. The parrot
> beaks and in some case horns of ceratopsians would have allowed them to
> defend carcasses against other scavengers including theropods.
It's perhaps worth mentioning that in their description of _Muttaburrasaurus_,
Molnar and Bartholomai (1981) suggested that this ornithopod might have been
"partially carnivorous". They based this (among other things) on the
ceratopsid-like shearing dentition. They also suggested _M_ might have had an
expanded adductor jaw musculature for processing flesh, based on the "unusually
broad post-infratemporal bar". I'm not sure about that one; but at least it
shows that the idea of an omnivorous ornithischian has been around for a while.
More recently (and more plausibly) there's the heterodontosaurs, where the
presence of caniniform teeth might be tied to an omnivorous diet (e.g., Butler
et al., 2008).
Dan Chure <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> What next, omnivorous tryannosaurids?
Hey, I wouldn't be at all surprised! :-) Considering the way putative
omnivores or herbivores are popping up all over the non-avian theropod tree
(e.g., _Limusaurus_, ornithomimosaurs, therizinosaurs, _Incisivosaurus_, maybe
_Masaiakasaurus_), an omnivorous tyrannosaur might not be so unexpected. Maybe
a basal tyrannosaur, rather than a true tyrannosaurid.