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Re: comment-therizinosaurs



2011/10/10 Tim Williams <tijawi@gmail.com>:

> The idea that these
> herbivores targeted the starchy pith of cycads is intuitively
> attractive, but the cycads (and similar gymnopserms) were in steep
> decline during the time when therizinosaurs were diversifying (later
> Cretaceous).

Instructive point (congratulations dude, it's incredible how much you know!).
But, were there enough cycads, or similarly though plants, to allow
therizinosaurs prospering by eating them? Because a group which
declines in taxonomic diversity may still be a conspicuous element of
the biota.
If not, it has been hypothesized that ceratopsians, which also
diversified close in time, also dealt with though plants. Ostrom
considered Triceratops was feeding upon palms and cycads, later others
stated that they may be feeding on though ferns, which were more
abundant. May something like that also apply to therizinosaurs? Long
and blade-like claws may be useful for some plant with a robust main
body protected by hard (preferably flexible) walls but with some
softer inside.