[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]
On 4/18/2011 6:23 PM, Dann Pigdon wrote:
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
Perhaps the alvarezsaurids habitually foraged inside large carcasses for
various edibles such as maggots, insects, and smaller vertebrates. A
sauropod would make a rather large and relatively long-lasting cave
(i.e., 2 or 3 months, given appropriate climate) once the viscera had
been eaten/decomposed, and the "walls" would be replete w/ goodies.
Possums in SE USA sometimes forage inside carcasses large enough to
crawl into, and even appear to "move in" something large like a dead cow
as long as it provides shelter (personal observation).
In such a case, the cursorial adaptations would be convenient traveling
between carcasses, night-adapted eyes would be useful in the dark
recesses of the sauropod abdominal cavity, and the "short powerful arms"
might be very handy while worming into, and around in, various nooks and
crannies inside a carcass. Even the 'prokinetic jaw' of Shuuvia might be
adaptive in such an environment.
This would logically speak against elaborate feathers, though.
Which reminds me -- anyone doubting the problems faced by paleo-artists
in choosing a "look" for a given animal should google "bald bear"...