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Re: Microraptor ate birds
- To: DML <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Subject: Re: Microraptor ate birds
- From: Denver Fowler <email@example.com>
- Date: Thu, 10 Nov 2011 23:33:20 +0000 (GMT)
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- Reply-to: Denver Fowler <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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From: Robert Schenck <email@example.com>
>It's definitely intriguing, and IF microraptor et al were arboreal, it is what
But is it? How many modern avivores actually hunt in the trees? A few snakes I
can think of... The monkey-killing harpy eagle takes monkeys and sloths from
branches (take that stupid monkey!). Falcons are avivores, but they strike in
the air, or from the air to the
ground; Accipitrids tend to catch their prey by surprise... on the
ground. Are there many mammalian predators that actively hunt in trees?
Chimps will take monkeys in the trees... but it's really quite
exceptional. Generally hunting in trees is frought with problems: branches get
in the way; pursuit is exceptionally awkward. Plus, what does microraptor do
once it has caught it's prey? What is the method of dispatch in a tree? Do
modern animals kill prey in trees? The hypothesis is not well-thought out, and
not based on any modern comparisons (hence, I predict it will be published in
Nature, or ProcB).
>I mean, this is /behaviour/ damnit, always great when any of that can
be elucidated, even if it doesn't have 100% support.
It's not behaviour: it's diet. For all we know, the Microraptor might have
found a dead bird on the ground.