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Re: Ceratonykus braincase described



On 4/28/2011 6:30 PM, Dann Pigdon wrote:

That sounds like a good description of a giant lammergeier.

That was what originally brought the speculative cartoon to mind -- that, and the realization that there were many large bones in the Mesozoic that could not be utilized by vertebrates as we know them today.

If what I read is true, an adult _Gyps barbatus_ can swallow and (quickly!) digest bones that approach the maximum size that could theoretically be surgically inserted into their bodies.

I would love to see anatomically knowledgeable speculation on the maximum size femur a mega-biped like T. rex could _potentially_ swallow.

Or, as you say, a giant ptero...

I wonder whether some of the largest pterosaurs could have been lammergeier 
analogues?

I do not see that it could be ruled out. The resources were there, and there are extant avians and crocs w/ "high-speed" bone-dissolving stomachs.

Heh. Perhaps someday someone will even notice dinosaur bones that have fractures that could only have resulted from high-speed impact w/ rocks when fresh. Seems possible, albeit unlikely...

They'd
have fit your above description well (if you removed the word 'terrestrial').