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Re: dino-lice

Here we go: published arguments for discussion

Ruxton & Houston 2004: Obligate vertebrate scavengers must be large
soaring fliers.


Can't get the full pdf because I'm in a hotel. Looks pretty good though?


On 19 April 2011 03:30, Augusto Haro <augustoharo@gmail.com> wrote:
> 2011/4/18 Tim Williams <tijawi@gmail.com>:
>> When it comes to feeding on a carcass, the alvarezsaurs might well
>> have been the last to arrive at the scene.
> Yes, but in this case the specialized morphology of the forelimb seems
> not so important for hide-cutting or breaking if carrion-eating.
>> Having high visual and/or
>> olfactory acuity may not have been so important, because (a) many
>> carcasses would have been huge and (b) alvarezsaurs could be your
>> typical camp-followers, and trailed larger predatory theropods with a
>> view to a kill.
> If large dinosaurs had low population densities, finding one by itself
> would be difficult, more making a living of these. In addition, for
> visual animals, it depends on how much exposed the corpse was. The
> possibility of finding one also would depend on how fast animals with
> greater acuity ingested the carcass after coming before. This does not
> count if following animals with better senses, or if not living
> primarily on corpses.
>> I'm not suggesting that alvarezsaurs were obligate scavengers.
>> However, as noted by Longrich & Currie (2008), ant nests were likely
>> rare in the Mesozoic, and termitaria possibly absent altogether -
>> leaving wood-nesting termites as the only common social insect
>> contemporary with alvarezsaurs.  So there would seem to be slim
>> pickings indeed for a theropod that relied solely on ants and termites
>> as its food source.
> Agreed on the need to eat more than social insects, but it seems to me
> more likely for they to pick small animals, seeds, or not though
> plants, than carrion-eating, because of not having recurved beaks or
> teeth. I think following large herbivores and searching for its
> droppings may provide many seeds, and perhaps also insects if waiting
> a time.