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RE: Microraptor also ate fish

Tue, Apr 23, 2013 4:18 AM EDT Mickey Mortimer wrote:

>>Don Ohmes wrote-
>> If an animal has the tools to catch live fish, predation is a much reliable 
>> method of obtaining a given quantity of food than scavenging, special 
>> conditions like anoxic events excepted.<<

>Finally, we actually a possible argument for parsimony besides Xing et al.'s 
>"short spoilage time".  Now, do we actually know that living animals capable 
>of catching fish eat more fish they caught themselves than fish they 
>scavenged?  I think this isn't so clear cut.  A specialized fishing animal 
>like a skimmer, sure.  A more generalist aquatic predator like a heron, 
>probably.  But what about something even more generalist like a gull?  Do 
>gulls kill more fish than they scavenge?  I wouldn't feel confident saying 
>yes.  Is there literature out there on this?<

Do gulls actually fish, beyond the classic bait ball?

In any case, I do not believe that I could look at the skeleton of a gull and 
say "look, predatory tools!"

A beak for processing meat, but no _catching_ equipment...

>Regarding anoxic events, aren't they supposed to be very common in the Jehol 
>habitat, and indeed the very reason specimens are preserved so well and so 
>many aerial taxa are preserved?  And if that's true, surely it would influence 
>any calculation for fish scavenging being parsimonious.<
Still, they are special events - otherwise there would be nothing to scavenge. 
Or catch.