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How to eat a Triceratops

Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 25,560 ✭✭✭✭ Kess73


    Not really a surprising trait to be honest. Makes sense for any predator to try remove whatever is in the way of the nicer meaty bits.


    As always I will go to modern day raptors as an example.

    This girl tends to removes the wings and head of pigeons when she catches them as part of her meal prep.


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    Have seen her do this a good number of times over the past few years. She plucks the feather and then severs a wing to get at the main body of the pigeon more easily and she also has a habit of going to work on the neck of the pigeon which often leads to the head coming off.

    Have also seen her take the head off of a rat before eating it.


    Her much smaller mate of the past few breeding seasons has a similar habit with the prey he gets.


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    I have long held the view that if you watch modern raptors feed, especially the species that can hunt on foot as well as on the wing as the Sparrowhawk is capable of, then you can get a scaled down version of hunting and feeding technoques that may resemble in some manner how some of the bipedal predators of millions of years ago went abouttheir business.


  • Registered Users Posts: 714 ✭✭✭ Ziphius


    Kess73 wrote: »
    Not really a surprising trait to be honest.

    Well, perhaps not to an avid dinosaur watcher such as yourself ;). Now that I think of it domestics cats do something similar (though maybe this is just due to cats being evil).

    Postmortem decapitation in multi-tonne animals is still pretty gruesome. Nice to see some evidence for behaviour in these animals too. How will this be interpreted by palaeontologist? Does it support the theory that adult T. rex was an obligate scavenger? Using it's bulk and strength to get to the hardest to reach, most protected parts of carrion. What can it tell us about the co-evolution between predator and prey?


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,551 ✭✭✭ Rubecula


    I can't say that it surprised me either, but not because I am an avid fan of these things, but simply because it is a subject that until now had never crossed my mind.

    Thanks for a great post though.


  • Registered Users Posts: 25,560 ✭✭✭✭ Kess73


    Ziphius wrote: »
    Well, perhaps not to an avid dinosaur watcher such as yourself ;). Now that I think of it domestics cats do something similar (though maybe this is just due to cats being evil).

    Postmortem decapitation in multi-tonne animals is still pretty gruesome. Nice to see some evidence for behaviour in these animals too. How will this be interpreted by palaeontologist? Does it support the theory that adult T. rex was an obligate scavenger? Using it's bulk and strength to get to the hardest to reach, most protected parts of carrion. What can it tell us about the co-evolution between predator and prey?



    It not being a surprising trait to me has nothing to do with my passing interest in all things dino tbh. It is more down to the fact that a number of modern day creatures doing very similar acts with prey and as such it stands to reason that both predator and scavenger alike down through the ages would also have found ways to get to the choice cuts.


    That is actual a good example that you mentioned with cats.Feral cats in particular have been known to take the heads of of medium sized garden birds in order to tuck into the exposed flesh rather than get through the feathers on the main body. So if one comes across a headless blackbird, thrush, or pigeon that has been dragged under a bush, then a feral cat is your most likely culprit.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Adam Khor


    Ziphius wrote: »
    In an article published yesterday online in Nature scientists present a theory of how, exactly, Tyrannosaurus ate Triceratops. The researchers used bite marks on Triceratops bone to develop their hypothesis.

    I don't want to ruin the surprise but I will say that it is pretty gruesome.

    Gruesome indeed :O On the other hand, it is great imagination fuel...
    Ziphius wrote: »
    Now that I think of it domestics cats do something similar (though maybe this is just due to cats being evil).

    Oh, believe me, when cats want to be evil, they don´t bother decapitating their victim. :pac: My cat used to eat mice alive, chewing them slowly while the hapless rodents were still struggling desperately, their head and forelegs trapped inside the cat's mouth. They only died when the chewing caused the back half of the body to fall off.
    Ziphius wrote: »
    How will this be interpreted by palaeontologist? Does it support the theory that adult T. rex was an obligate scavenger? Using it's bulk and strength to get to the hardest to reach, most protected parts of carrion.

    I don´t think it lends more credence to the scavenger hypothesis (which I don´t think many take seriously nowadays, or at least I hope so...). After all a large prey like Triceratops would have to be killed in order to feed on it anyways so whatever would be useful for eating carrion would be useful for eating a freshly killed animal...

    Great find, Ziphius, damn you for beating me to it XD


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  • Registered Users Posts: 714 ✭✭✭ Ziphius


    Kess73 wrote: »
    It not being a surprising trait to me has nothing to do with my passing interest in all things dino tbh.

    I actually meant because you are mod of the bird watcher forum. And birds, as we all know, are living therapod dinosaurs :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 714 ✭✭✭ Ziphius


    Adam Khor wrote: »
    I don´t think it lends more credence to the scavenger hypothesis (which I don´t think many take seriously nowadays, or at least I hope so...). After all a large prey like Triceratops would have to be killed in order to feed on it anyways so whatever would be useful for eating carrion would be useful for eating a freshly killed animal...

    Yes, I think the mainstream see T. rex as a predator. And this evidence doesn't really contradict that view. If T. rex was a scavenger it does rais the question what was killing all these large herbivores.


  • Registered Users Posts: 30,746 ✭✭✭✭ Galvasean


    Ziphius wrote: »
    Yes, I think the mainstream see T. rex as a predator. And this evidence doesn't really contradict that view. If T. rex was a scavenger it does rais the question what was killing all these large herbivores.

    In 'Valley of the T-Rex' Horner cited dromaeosaurs. In addition, we now now that young Tyrannosaurus hunted differently to adults so would have chipped in too. Unless there were larger forms of predator that we don't know about yet it doesn't seem all that likely that they were killing enough to feet themselves and a large population of giant tyrannosaurs.


  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 84,861 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Capt'n Midnight


    Ziphius wrote: »
    Yes, I think the mainstream see T. rex as a predator. And this evidence doesn't really contradict that view. If T. rex was a scavenger it does rais the question what was killing all these large herbivores.
    You mean the ones killed in the river crossing / flash flood ?


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