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Re: dino-lice

Apologies - plaintext below (new to the whole DLM shebang)

I mean, opportunistic scavenging is a basic feature of carnivory -
saying something scavenged carcasses is in general tantamout to just
saying it ate meat. To be a convincing dedicated scavenger you either
need a way of both finding and getting to corpses (which are probably
a pretty thinly-spread resource) before every other meat-eater that
happened to be near it gets involved. So you need to cover a wide area
with a fast-acting sense, and be able to travel large distances
quickly. birds seem the only convincing terestrial example at the
moment. Or you eat the stuff no-one else is going to or is able to
(bones, waxy residues etc), or you exist in such huge numbers that
you're basically everywhere anyway (flies, ants etc). Does that sound
about right? Being able to process a large corpse doesn't really make
you anything more than a carnivore, as far as I can see - it's the
ability to sense and travel over long distances quickly (relative to
competitors). Might be wrong.

On 18 April 2011 23:37, Vivian Allen <mrvivianallen@googlemail.com> wrote:
> Sorry to trot out the obvious argument, but how would a non-flying obligate 
> scavenger find meals quickly enough to compete with opportunistic scavengers? 
> (i.e. every carniverous species withing detection range of a carcass). 
> Anyways, my vote would also be for atrophied, unless there is compelling 
> evidence otherwise.
> On 18 April 2011 23:23, Dann Pigdon <dannj@alphalink.com.au> wrote:
>> On Tue, Apr 19th, 2011 at 4:01 AM, Augusto Haro <augustoharo@gmail.com> 
>> wrote:
>> > It may be, although I suspect that dinosaurs with great olfactory
>> > acuity as tyrannosaurids and dromaeosaurids may reach it before and
>> > open the carcasses then. I would also expect more laterally compressed
>> > unguals, dromaeosaur-style, if expecting carcass hide-cutting.
>> > Besides, I do not see in the shout of alvarezsaurs much indication of
>> > carrion-eating, such as recurved beak or teeth...
>> Who needs to pierce hide when you've got a narrow head and long neck, and 
>> nature has provided
>> a ready-made access chute for reaching the intestines? Some of the smaller 
>> vulture species that
>> lack the strength to pierce hide opt for the sphincter option.
>> I've always wondered whether alvarezsaur forelimbs were attrophied from 
>> general lack of utility
>> (as in Carnotaurus), with the only function left being that of intraspecific 
>> kangaroo-style wrestling
>> matches.
>> --
>> _____________________________________________________________
>> Dann Pigdon
>> Spatial Data Analyst               Australian Dinosaurs
>> Melbourne, Australia               http://home.alphalink.com.au/~dannj
>> _____________________________________________________________