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Re: Velociraptor scavenged azhdarchid pterosaur
On Sun, March 4, 2012 6:47 pm, Habib, Michael wrote:
> Parrots and giant tortoises immediately come to mind.
Indeed - and Keas in New Zealand are known to be predatory. There are numerous
them attacking sheep, seeming to prefer tearing out the fat around their
flanks. Sometimes the
sheep survive, even if the wounds open up the intestinal tract, and they end up
defecating out of
the newly healed opening in the flank. Yuck.
Keas also actively dig up rabbit burrows with their mattock-like beaks, to get
at the gooey rabbit
Neither parrots nor giant tortoises have the rediculous degree of
over-engineering you see in
ceratopsian jaws though. I quite like Mark Witton's take on the issue:
On Mon, Mar 5th, 2012 at 11:14 AM, "Thomas R. Holtz, Jr." <email@example.com>
> And its worth remembering that "herbivory" is not just folivory: plenty of
> plant tissues are pretty tough, and there are various herbiviores which
> eat these.
What Mesozoic plants present in the environment of protoceratops could have
such an extreme jaw configuration? The Mesozoic equivalents of coconuts perhaps?
If the jaw mechanics of ceratopsians evolved as much for defense as for
feeding, then it would be
surprising if their ability to shear through flesh and bone wasn't at least
occasionally used in feeding
as well (and by further extension, even active hunting).
Spatial Data Analyst Australian Dinosaurs
Melbourne, Australia http://home.alphalink.com.au/~dannj