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Re: What did Spinosaurus eat? New species of Lepidotes found



On 3/3/2011 11:55 AM, Augusto Haro wrote:
Thus, it seems that spinosaurs would be disventaged relative to
crocodiles on the basis of their bite alone.

Fish do not have leverage to transmit various combinations of types and magnitudes of forces, at least not in the sense that a similar-sized tetrapod with an extremity in contact w/ a solid surface does.

This is particularly true once the fish has been lifted from the water, something crocodilians can do only w/ small prey. Fish wiggle very well, but it is still "just wiggling", and the physical damage inflicted by the teeth in such events is not really relevant, they simply have to hold the fish well enough to remove it quickly from the water.

So -- perhaps a look at spinosaurid anatomy from the design perspective of lifting vertically a "wiggly" weight that has been grasped by the jaws would be interesting? As you say, the forces would be transmitted along the long axis of the snout in a straight pull-back of the head, and this is true even when the front limbs are not actively engaged.

It would seem reasonable to assume (as a working hypothesis) that any fish too big to swallow whole, but small enough to be lifted would be transported to shore for processing -- much as river otters do -- and that processing would not be extremely demanding, in itself.