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Re: Alvarezsaur spurs (was Re: dino-lice)

Anthony Docimo <keenir@hotmail.com> wrote:

>  and for bipeds (such as Alvarezsaurs), it may be a cost they simply cannot 
> afford.

Yes, I meant to say that I was only referring to quadrupeds.
Cursorial bipeds (like alvarezsaurs) can do what they like with their

> I think there's a third similarity you skipped over:  that both Ardwolves and 
> Alvarezsaurs have preferred to focus on the ability to "run away! run away!" 
> very quickly, over having Therizinosaur-like defenses.

I avoided mentioning this because aardwolves retain the prominent
canines, strong jaw muscles, and sharp claws of their hyaenid
forbears, so they do have the option of staying and fighting (though
it's certainly not the preferred option!).   This option would seem to
be unavailable to alvarezsaurs, with their weak jaws, stunted
forelimbs, and gracile hindlimbs.

Jason Brougham <jaseb@amnh.org> wrote:

> I believe there was a discussion on this thread regarding the low energy
> content of a termite diet, and some question whether this could fuel a
> cursor.
> Does anyone know how energy expenditure scales with body size? Is there
> any chance that this was a factor in driving a trend toward smaller body
> size in advanced alvarezsaurs?

Check out McNab (1984; J. Zool. Lond. 203: 485-510), which may be what
you're looking for.  Or it may at least point you in the right