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Re: Chickens are Myrmecophages



2012/5/23 Tim Williams <tijawi@gmail.com>:

> Someone I knew once proposed (in print) that dromornithids were
> ferocious predators.  The hypothesis that dromornithids (mihirungs)
> were carnivores rather than herbivores is controversial to say the
> least, and has come up against fierce opposition (e.g., in the
> _Magnificent Mihirungs_ volume).
>
Have yet to read that book, with the evidence posited, but if the
debate is similar to that on Diatryma, one can wonder if these birds
were omnivores. That their anatomy was interpreted as optimal for both
carnivorous and herbivorous diets in different studies may be seen as
supporting the possiblity that both items were included. After all,
many ground-based birds of our days, including galliforms and Ratites,
are omnivores (although more strongly leaning towards the herbivorous
side). Although the different power of the beak in basal anseriforms
and ratites suggests the former may have been able to deal with
tougher food items (bamboo? tree branches? roots? larger mammals?).