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Re: Velociraptor scavenged azhdarchid pterosaur

On 3/5/2012 11:50 AM, David Marjanovic wrote:

-- Not only some vultures, but also komodo dragons are known to swallow clean 
bones. Bone is just protein with calcium phosphate around it; if your stomach 
acid can take the calcium phosphate off, bone is just connective tissue.

And animals that can do that apparently do not poop out a whole lot of 'bone inclusions' (correction appreciated). Which in turn would seem to imply that -- 1) theropods that produced coprolites w/ "angular bone fragments" (Chin, et al 1998) did not have crocodile/vulture strength bone-dissolving capability (a blow to the scavenger hypothesis, IMO)), and 2) there may currently be some theropod coprolites passing as crocodile coprolites, given that bone inclusions are one way to differentiate between them. The foregoing assumes that it is likely that some theropods evolved low stomach ph, and produced largely bone-free coprolites -- given the phylogenetic bracket formed by G. barbatus and C. niloticus, and the advantages accruing to those animals that can eat bone.

"Perhaps someone should investigate!" -- if there isn't already a way to tell the difference. Croc poop might have more mud in it, for instance...

-- I don't know of any mammals that_swallow_  clean bones; but Tasmanian devils 
chew entire animals up, leaving nothing. I've watched a documentary where a 
Tassie devil eats a kangaroo tail like a sausage.

Which begs the question -- do the devils digest the bones, like crocs, or mostly pass them? Like coyotes and at least some theropods...