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Re: Haplocheirus does not confirm alvarezsaurs are maniraptoran
David Marjanovic <email@example.com> wrote:
> Ant-eaters don't need reach. (They can just walk closer.)
> They only need power.
I'm coming round to thinking that you're probably right here. The giant
ant-eater uses its fore-claws to make a small breach in the ant or termite
nest, then feeds on the insects that stream out. However, the ant-eater
doesn't feed at any nest for too long: the ant-eater soon backs off to avoid
the soldier caste. The ant-eater rarely destroys a nest, but survives by
ingesting a relatively small number of insects from a large number of nests.
So alvarezsaurs could have fed the same way. Breach the nest (or
insect-infested wood), slurp up some emerging insects, then run away before the
angry colony launch a full-scale attack. Or maybe it breached trees to access
the sugar-rich sap - a much better food source than ants or termites. And sap
> The trick is that all extant ones are (to varying degrees,
> but still) quadrupedal. To be useful in locomotion,
> forelimbs need a minimum length. Compromises result that the
> bipedal alvarezsaurids simply didn't need.
Nevertheless, a short reach would limit the alvarezsaur to breaching nests or
trees that were shoulder height (or lower), rather than head height. I still
think you're right though.