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Re: Ceratonykus braincase described



 Extant myrmecophages are not cursorial, because the energy derived
 from a myrmecophagous diet does not permit high metabolic rates in
 mammals higher than 1 kg mass (McNab, 1984; J. Zool. Lond. 203:
 485-510). Termites have higher calorific value than ants, but still
 not great.

Oh.

That could explain why parvicursorines are so unusually small... but they're not _that_ small, are they? And *Patagonykus*, of course, had a decent size. Too bad its skull is unknown; but it didn't have as extreme forelimbs as the parvicursorines.

 For _Patagopteryx_ read _Patagonykus_...

<headdesk> Yes, thank you.

Thanks also for posting the reference to Senter (2005). That's what I had in mind.

 If alvarezsaurs were myrmecophagous, I doubt that ants and termites
 were their ONLY source of food - for the reasons given above. They
 may in fact have been a relatively minor component of alvarezsaur
 dietary habits.

Didn't this thread start as a discussion of the function of the forelimbs? :-) That they were used to break termite nests open doesn't mean the animal ate nothing else. Though the tiny teeth may constrain the options for what else they ate.