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RE: carnivorous hippos = omnivorous ceratopsians etc
I think we are all forgetting something in these speculations of omnivorous
As the gators demonstrate, there's no need to assume that an omnivorous
tyrannosaur would possess any specific osteological adaptations for indulging
in occasional herbivory. Known taxa could have been crocodilian-fashion
> Date: Sun, 24 Jan 2010 20:12:27 -0800
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> Subject: Re: carnivorous hippos = omnivorous ceratopsians etc
> GS Paul 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 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.
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