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RE: Tyrannosaurus Tail Torque



I suggest you read Fry et al's paper:

http://www.pnas.org/content/106/22/8969.full

On Tue, Nov 23rd, 2010 at 6:39 AM, Sim Koning <simkoning@msn.com> wrote:

> Do some varanids have have what look like venom glands ,yes

No - they *have* venom glands. Whopping great venom glands that can deliver up 
to half of their 
contents during an attack. Their venom does two things - it sends the prey into 
a state of shock 
making them inable to struggle effectively, and it has anticoagulatory effects 
that promote rapid 
blood loss.

> Do wild dragons have enough bacteria in their mouths to kill (slowly), yes

No - they don't. At least, no more than any other carnivore. You're just as 
likely to get an infected 
bite from a pet cat as you are from a varanid.

> Can they kill simply by biting their prey to death yup. Why is it that one
> method is being focused on to the exclusion of the others? 

Because, as the Fry et al paper clearly states, the idea of an 'infectious 
bite' that plays an 
important role in varanid predation is a complete and utter myth. It has never 
been documented in 
any scientific way, and the hypothesis fails in spectactular fashion when 
approached with any sort 
of scientific vigour. It's a scientific urban myth. A well-established one, 
admittedly, but wrong none-
the-less.

> However, I do think dragon victims are
> probably far more likely to get a severe infection or blood poisoning when 
> compared to the
> victims of other predators due the 57 or so strains of virulent bacteria in 
> their mouth. 

The bacteria identified in varanid mouths is no different to that found in 
other reptiles, and many of 
those bacterial species have come from the stomach contents of their mammalian 
prey. It seems 
more likely that komodo monitors *receive* more bacteria from their prey than 
they actually 
deliver *to* them.

-- 
_____________________________________________________________

Dann Pigdon
Spatial Data Analyst               Australian Dinosaurs
Melbourne, Australia               http://home.alphalink.com.au/~dannj
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