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Re: Microraptor also ate fish

On Wed, Apr 24th, 2013 at 3:50 AM, GSP1954@aol.com wrote:

> It is always possible that the fish were concentrated and partly 
> immobilized in a drying pond, perhaps the remnant of a lake shoreline 
> retreating for 
> one reason or another. That's how my buddy Todd and I captured a bunch of 
> creek chubs running past by backyard during the east coast drought of summer 
> 66. The problem with stomach contents is it is hard to know how a/typical 
> they 
> are for a species (a really big sample size can help), and if it 
> represented standard hunting techniques or occasional opportunity. 

For stomach contents to have the best chance of fossilising, death has to occur 
soon enough after 
ingestion for the contents to remain largely undigested. Where there's no other 
clear cause of 
death, there's always the chance that the animal died as a result of attempting 
to eat something 
atypical to its usual diet. For instance, long-tailed lizards could very well 
have been choke hazards 
for compsognathids. :-)

Even a large sample size of *Microraptors* with preserved fish remains could 
represent a 
desperate population forced to eat dead or dying fish during a drought due to 
their usual diet 
having become scarce, resulting in many deaths soon after ingestion.

Oh, for a time machine...


Dann Pigdon
Spatial Data Analyst               Australian Dinosaurs
Melbourne, Australia               http://home.alphalink.com.au/~dannj