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RE: Velociraptor scavenged azhdarchid pterosaur

  Not to be too snarky, but: Any parrot, ever? While generally either 
frugivorous or folivorous, parrots and hornbills are not only selective 
"herbivores," they will also take living prey (grubs, etc.). Parrots, 
especially macaws, are specialists on nuts, emphasized by the possession of 
specialized jaw muscles that act as analogues to mammalian muscles, but 
moreover as mechanical analogues to other specialized "durophages" such as 
hystricomorphan rodents. I could even bring in hystricomorphs, and their 
massively oversized schnozes, despite the absence of a "beak."

  The second issue here is that we cannot claim that the eolian sediments that 
form the Djadokhta Formation are representative of the entire ecosystem in 
which it is preserved, especially given the seemingly active rainfall, which 
produced sandslides and muddy inter-dune paleosols that are found in the 
formation. If anything, it is part of a broader, potentially wetter relative 
environment. Moreover,


  Jaime A. Headden
  The Bite Stuff (site v2)

"Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)

"Ever since man first left his cave and met a stranger with a
different language and a new way of looking at things, the human race
has had a dream: to kill him, so we don't have to learn his language or
his new way of looking at things." --- Zapp Brannigan (Beast With a Billion 

> Date: Mon, 5 Mar 2012 09:24:40 +1100
> From: dannj@alphalink.com.au
> To: dinosaur@usc.edu
> Subject: RE: Velociraptor scavenged azhdarchid pterosaur
> On Mon, Mar 5th, 2012 at 8:58 AM, Jaime Headden <qi_leong@hotmail.com> wrote:
> >   But even if the *Protoceratops andrewsi* were capable of selecting living 
> > prey the size of a
> > "raptor," it is another thing to presume that it was regular in this habit. 
> > Even in modern
> > herbivores that select animal prey (deer eating birds, grave-robbing 
> > elephants, and of course
> > omnivory in swine and boars) this is not regular or even preferential: They 
> > _are_ herbivores,
> > after all.
> Show me a living analogue for a 'herbivore' with a freaking huge beak and 
> outrageously powerful
> jaw muscles to power it and I might be convinced of the unlikelihood. The jaw 
> apparatus of
> protoceratops seems to be over-engineered for strict herbivory. Given its 
> apparently arid or semi-
> arid habitat, assuming opportunistic omnivory may not be such a stretch. In 
> really bad times of
> extended drought, tackling even a velociraptor out of desperation might have 
> been worthwhile.
> --
> _____________________________________________________________
> Dann Pigdon
> Spatial Data Analyst Australian Dinosaurs
> Melbourne, Australia http://home.alphalink.com.au/~dannj
> _____________________________________________________________